‘We Believe’ Warriors Fave Gets Real on Andrew Wiggins’ Evolution

Andrew Wiggins Warriors-Lakers

Getty Golden State Warriors star Andrew Wiggins handles the ball during a bout with the LA Lakers.

Before the Golden State Warriors‘ season-opening bout with the LA Lakers, the last game action Dub Nation saw from their team featured Steph Curry playing MVP-level basketball. And it looks like the team’s cornerstone remains in beast mode four months later.

In 33 minutes of the court, Steph stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 33 points, seven assists, six rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot. Consequently, the Warriors outscored the Lakers by 20 points when he was on the floor.

However, Steph was hardly alone in running LeBron James and his crew out of Chase Center. Andrew Wiggins similarly picked up where his sensational 2021-22 left off, scoring 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting (and 4-of-7 from three) to go along with six boards, four dimes, a steal and a block.

It was just the latest in a logbook of performances that has many still wondering how in the world the baller was able to turn the corner from being a flopped No. 1 pick in Minnesota to a key championship cog in the Bay Area.

For his part, ‘We Believe’ Warriors legend Matt Barnes thinks the reason for Wiggins’ transformation is obvious.

Barnes: It’s All About the Dubs & Their Culture

During his Wednesday appearance on 95.7 The Game’s Steiny & Guru, Barnes was asked to posit his theory on what the big difference between the Wiggins that disappointed in Minnesota and the one who’s the toast of the town with the Dubs actually is.

As Barnes sees it, it’s as simple as the superior employer empowering Wiggins to become a better employee.

“Ummm, the amount of rings each team has won?” Barnes answered. “Organizations mean a lot.”

Barnes noted that, in terms of raw talent and ability, Wiggins has always been that dude. However, he doesn’t believe that the Timberwolves weren’t putting their best foot forward to foster his growth between the ears.

“I think it’s less him getting better as a player, physically, but being better as a player mentally. Understanding the game more and understanding that the ask isn’t as heavy as it used to be.”

Barnes Never Saw It Coming

Despite his status as a former No. 1 pick, Wiggins was considered by some to be little more than a matching salary when the Wolves sent him to the Warriors — along with a lottery-level draft asset, no less — for D’Angelo Russell.

Barnes has no qualms in admitting that he was part of that crowd.

It didn’t take long for him to see the error of his ways, though. And, again, he’s giving a lot of the credit for the big shift to the Warriors.

“I think coming to Golden State… I didn’t personally think it was going to work, to be honest with you, but definitely backtracked once I saw him kind of finding who he was,” Barnes said. “I think coming in and being around some guys that really know how to play the game and really love the game, and an organization that has a foundation and has championship pedigree — he’s really blossomed in this.”

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