For the better part of the last decade, the Golden State Warriors have been the dominant force that the rest of the NBA has been forced to go through. Their core of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson has acted as the Evil Empire that everyone else has looked up to.
However, in the past two seasons, it’s been the exterior players that have been making noise for Golden State. Of course, Curry, Green, and Thompson have been great, but guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole have exploded onto the scene. And in the case of Wiggins, he earned a new opportunity with the Warriors.
After being selected with the first-overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Wiggins spent the five and a half years of his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves. During a recent return to his hometown with the Larry O’Brien trophy, Wiggins spoke about his experiences in both Minnesota and Golden State.
“When I step on the court, I’ve always been confident in what I can do,” he said. “When I was in Minnesota, I put up numbers. But people said, ‘He put up numbers on a bad team.’ So, I go to Golden State and I’m not scoring as much, but I’m doing a lot at a more efficient rate, so the whole world gets to see.”
Despite putting up great numbers with the Timberwolves, the fact that he only made the playoffs once in Minnesota caused the general public to doubt his abilities. But after being the second-best player during the Warriors’ title run, most of those questions have been answered.
While he was back home, Wiggins also took the chance to speak about the journey he’s been on and what it means to win a title.
Wiggins Describes Journey to Championship
After failing to make the playoffs more than once in Minnesota, Wiggins has enjoyed infinitely more success in Golden State. He said all of the sacrifices he made and the criticism that he faced were made worth it by the championship win.
“I feel great,” Wiggins said in between his time at multiple youth camps in Vaughan and Mississauga. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs, a lot of people had counted me out, but to be back and … winning a championship? All the sacrifices, all the ups and downs, all the stuff was worth it. It makes the story that much better.”
He also spoke about how great it was to feel the support from his hometown community.
“It’s been a different type of summer, but the best summer of my life,” Wiggins said. “It’s been amazing coming down here and feeling all this love and positivity. It’s been great. Just being able to bring the trophy back home to where it all started for me … where all my friends and family are that helped me get to the place where I’m at now.”
And as great as the title run was for Wiggins, he also noted the important role his family has played in his NBA journey.
Wiggins Explains Importance of Family
Being able to win a championship with the Warriors was very important to Wiggins, but he also explained how crucial it was to have his family in his corner at all times.
“I can go home and I can talk to my mom (former Olympic track star Marita Payne). I can talk to my dad (ex-NBAer Mitchell Wiggins), my brothers, my sister,” Wiggins explained. “We’re a really tight family and I have them to lean on if I need anything. That’s my support group right there.”
Wiggins’ story is one of the best in the NBA, so seeing him enjoy his success with the people who helped get him there is great to see.