Anthony Edwards, The One.
Sports in the state of Minnesota can oftentimes leave it’s fans despondent. No fan, regardless of what sport, can refute that fact in the land of 10,000 lakes. The sorrowful feeling of being in love, but in the back of your mind wondering if you will always be happy. And that feeling isn’t a good one to have when you ultimately know what sports boils down to.
The expectation isn’t, nor should it be, that the team you root for and support, wins every single game that it plays. That’s unreasonable to expect. The built in expectation that all fans have is that the organization they support, do whatever it takes within their means to be as successful as they can, given their circumstances. Fans know economics, injuries, soured relationships between athletes and coaches/GM’s, are just a few examples of what can derail a dream of winning. And that is where we begin.
See, the Minnesota Timberwolves have long been an organization that is known for losing not winning basketball games. That’s a tough pill to swallow. A reality hard to stomach, but it’s true. It’s fan base is one that continues to support them. Maybe not always filling the Target Center to capacity, but the diehards who never jump off the bandwagon stay for the punishment that they’ve received far too many times.
But why you may ask? Why be a glutton for punishment? I can answer that unequivocally from experience. It’s wanting to believe it’ll get better. That’s what the Minnesota Timberwolves fans felt when Kevin Garnett was the unquestioned superstar and represented the state for so many years. He was who we got behind. We trusted in his talent and his desire to win for us. It made him special. His success made us even more special. He put “Sota” on the NBA map. But it wasn’t enough.
After all the dunks, the blocked shots, the epic battles with Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, and all the greats on his way to a hall of fame career, the team didn’t win enough. And in the blink of an eye, it’s superstar was gone. And would immediately win an NBA championship in his next stop. What happened next for the Timberwolves franchise is it’s loyal fanbase would go twelve straight years without reaching the postseason, and only make one appearance in the last 16 years. No need to even try to describe to you the sadness. But today is a new day.
Timberwolves fans now have something, someone to believe in. Anthony Edwards is the one. Not just the #1 overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft. Not just because he rocks the number #1 as his jersey number. Not just the #1 leading scoring among rookies in the NBA this past season. Not just the #1 Sportscenter highlight dunk of the year that went viral around the globe. Anthony Edwards is the one that now instills in every Timberwolves fan, what you want when watching your favorite team, hope. He is the one that is giving fans something to dream about again. His talent is allowing fans to use their imagination about how good he can be and where he can take the team.
Anthony Edwards’ smile is infectious. His personality is one that draws us near. His youthful exuberance, quick wit, and jokes has us all on the edge of our seats wondering what is next for this kid. Expecting a good basketball player is one thing. But expecting a genuine star who you can grow to love is another. Anthony Edwards won’t just have the basketball world wrapped around his finger. He has “it.” He has already showcased that his personality should attract marketing and endorsements far and wide.
So what does that mean for Minnesota sports fans? That yes, in the NBA basketball landscape, we are poised yet again to be a franchise that is worthy of attention for an unquestioned talent that everyone is falling in love with. And for the most diehard of Wolves fans, the hope is that the one will be here for a long time.