Fans Defend Warriors Star After Insider Labels Him ‘Disengaged’

Andrew Wiggins, Warriors

Getty Andrew Wiggins, Warriors

It’s not that Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins has posted particularly poor numbers through the team’s first three games, which have all been wins, leaving Golden State as the top team in the NBA. It’s more that he does not appear to be giving his all during his time on the court.

And, according to team insider Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Wiggins has been “disengaged” throughout the early part of the season.

On Sunday, during the Warriors’ win over the Kings, Wiggins posted 17 points and four rebounds. But there was one play, a blown layup by Wiggins after a turnover by Sacramento, that stood out as an example of Wiggins’ lackadaisical play lately.

Here is what Slater wrote on Twitter: “Andrew Wiggins has operated in a more disengaged way to open his second full season with the Warriors. This was the most egregious example. Wide open botched layup to close first half after steal and hit-ahead pass.”

The play in question:

Wiggins Averaging 15.3 Points Through 3 Games

Now, many Warriors fans stepped up to defend Wiggins after Slater’s post. He is averaging 15.3 points through three games and shooting 43.8% from the 3-point line. His scoring is at a career low, but his rebounding—5.7 per game—is at a career high. He has played solid defense and was a plus-18 in Golden State’s win over the Kings.

As one user wrote: “Wiggs is this franchise’s whipping boy. Guy is durable, great defender, can give you 14-20 on a given night, great locker room guy, doesn’t demand the ball, fits the Warriors system like a glove. But this isn’t enough for some fans for a 3rd/4th option depending on the matchup.”

Others pointed to the controversy around Wiggins getting the COVID-19 vaccine, which he initially refused to do. Wiggins filed for a religious exemption from vaccine rules, which the NBA denied. The city of San Francisco has mandated that employees working indoors—like NBA players—must be vaccinated, meaning Wiggins would not have been eligible to play in home games if he had not gotten the shot.

Wiggins wound up getting the vaccine on October 3. He later explained, “The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA. It was a tough decision. Hopefully, it works out in the long run and in 10 years I’m still healthy.”

Wiggins Struggled With Knee Issues in Training Camp

Another counterargument to the “disengaged” notion is that Wiggins has not, in fact, been totally healthy this month, which affected his ability to get into top condition to start the year. He has had soreness in his left knee and sat out one of the Warriors’ preseason games. He was on a minutes restriction in the team’s opener, playing only 25 minutes.

Andrew Wiggins 17 pts 3 threes 3 asts vs Clippers 21/22 seasonGo To for basketball training equipment. If you enjoyed this video, please consider supporting my channel. Go To: Patrons of the channel: Tobiasz Mróz, Coach G, Cholker, Soulful Crow, Andrew, Johnny Tran, W G DISCLAIMER – All clips property of the NBA. No copyright infringement is intended, all videos are edited to follow…2021-10-22T06:39:13Z

“He’s not quite where he’s going to be,” coach Steve Kerr said earlier this month. “You know, he had the knee that kept him out a couple days last week. I think he is a couple weeks away from really being able to have his conditioning and rhythm where he wants it to be. And that’s fine, that’s usually the case with a lot of guys as you head into the regular season.”

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