Timberwolves’ Edwards shocked, motivated by Kerr’s criticism

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards Golden State Warriors earned high praise from coach Steve Kerr while putting together for Team USA at the FIBA ​​World Cup this summer, but Edwards revealed Thursday afternoon that wasn’t always the case.

Edwards recalled meeting with Kerr for his 2020 NBA draft workout — where the Timberwolves made him the No. 1 overall selection — and was told by Kerr during workouts that he was “not working hard enough.”

“I thought I was working hard,” Edwards said Thursday at Timberwolves media day. “When he came, I was going through the drill and he kept stopping them, like, ‘That’s all you got? That’s all you got?’ “And I’m like, ‘Bruh, I’m going as hard as you want me to go. What do you want me to do? I’m sweating like crazy.'”

Edwards joined Warriors team president Kerr and Bob Myers for dinner later that evening, where they repeated the same message, including telling Edwards if they had the number. 1 overall pick, they didn’t draft him.

The Golden State election is finally over James Wiseman 2 overall pick in that draft with the no.

“He’s like, ‘Man, you gotta see.’ Steph [Curry], KD And clay [Thompson] Work hard,” Edwards said. “They were still constantly telling me, ‘You didn’t work hard enough. If only we had numbers. 1 pick, we won’t take you.’ And I was just like, ‘Damn, that’s crazy.’

Although Edwards remembers being surprised that his work ethic was questioned, he also realized that Kerr was right.

“Me and my coach are riding home after dinner and we’re just talking about how we have to take it,” Edwards said. “I don’t know how, I don’t know what we have to do, but we have to take it. After this. I went crazy in the gym.”

Fast forward three years later and Kerr, as coach of Team USA, had a different tone watching Edwards show his potential as the no. 1 option.

The third-year guard from Minnesota averaged 18.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in eight games this summer — despite a disappointing fourth-place finish for Team USA — contributing with some strong defensive efforts.

“He’s definitely a guy,” Kerr said after Edwards dropped 34 points in an exhibition win over Germany. “You can see he knows it. But now the team knows it, and I think the fans see it.

“He truly believes he’s the best player in the gym every night. And he’s such a dynamic young player. I think he’s making a jump.”

Edwards said he and Kerr talked about that pre-draft session a few years ago in the summer where Edwards credited Kerr with changing his work habits.

“They played a huge role in where I am today because they exposed it to me early on,” Edwards said.

It’s been a strong 12 months for Edwards, 22, who made his first All-Star team in 2022-23, combined with a strong performance on the international stage and a new maximum contract extension worth up to $260 million.

Edwards exceeded all expectations entering his fourth season.

“I’m going to need my teammates to do it,” Edwards said. “I can’t do anything without my teammates. As long as we go out there as a team of five, whoever’s on the court, and we come together and we win and that’s what I do personally, I think whatever the next step is. People expect Doing that I will take it, but it has to be with my teammates.

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