A quiet, laid-back, even timid-looking person is what Andrew Wiggins appears to be at first glance. However, when stories broke this weekend about the conversation he had with his former coach, Bill Self, about him being traded, it opened a lot of people’s eyes about who he really is.A lot of players want to be “the guy”, but very few have what it takes to be “the guy”. To be “the guy”, one needs extreme talent. That’s a no-brainer. But intangibles and self-confidence are also what one needs to be successful. Failing should never hurt ones confidence, but more times than not, it does. It’s hard to bounce-back from disappointment. It’s hard to be told “you suck” or “there’s no way in hell you can do that” and still succeed. It takes a unique, supremely confident person. And they only come around once-a-decade.
Wiggins is “that guy”. When he reportedly told Self that “he wanted to be traded”, I immediately thought “that’s something completely different from what is actually going on in the NBA today”. Why would a 19-year-old kid “want to be traded” from a team with the world’s greatest player( LeBron James) to a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves, who’ve had the worst lottery luck since it was created and have been terrible since Kevin Garnett was traded?
If you look at everything, whether individually or together, you see that Wiggins has absolutely nothing to lose except being a called a bust if he isn’t successful, but everything to gain if he is successful. How many No. 1 picks have been busts? Way too many to count.
Going all the way back to 1990, look at the No. 1 overall picks who have become or became the face of a franchise and/or a league-changing player: Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, and LeBron James. Twenty-four years of draft picks and only four players are absolute locks for the Hall of Fame.
Wiggins believes that he can become the next guy to do what those four previously mentioned players have done or are doing in the NBA.
Talent? He has it. Skills? He can work on those. Intangibles? He has them. Either a player has “it” or doesn’t. It’s what will separate Kobe Bryant from James Harden, Kevin Garnett from Kenyon Martin, and Chauncey Billups from Stephon Marbury for the rest of time.
A player who “gets it”, is a player who is worth it.
Minnesota was in the position where they were going to lose Kevin Love anyway, so they had to get rid of him.
And look what they got in return.
In five years, “intangibles” is what will separate Wiggins from the rest this draft class and the rest of the league.