For most of the past decade, the Golden State Warriors have been the dominant force that the rest of the NBA has been forced through. Their core of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson acted as the evil empire everyone looked up to.
However, over the past two seasons, it’s been the outside players who have been making noise for Golden State. Sure, Curry, Green and Thompson were great, but guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole exploded onto the scene. And in Wiggins’ case, he’s 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 opened up about his experiences at Minnesota and Golden State.
“When I step onto the pitch, I always had confidence in what I could do,” he said. “When I was in Minnesota, I put in numbers. But people said, “He put numbers on a bad team.” So I go to Golden State and I don’t score as much, but I do a lot at a more efficient pace so the whole world can see.
Despite big numbers with the Timberwolves, the fact that he only made the playoffs once in Minnesota made the general public doubt his abilities. But after being the second-best player in the Warriors’ title run, most of those questions have been answered.
While back home, Wiggins also took the opportunity to talk about his journey and what it means to win a title.
Wiggins outlines his journey to the Championship
After failing the playoffs more than once at Minnesota, Wiggins has enjoyed infinitely more success at Golden State. He said all the sacrifices he made and the criticism he faced were worth it thanks to the championship win.
“I feel great,” Wiggins said between stints at several youth camps in Vaughan and Mississauga. “There were a lot of ups and downs, a lot of people counted on me, but to be back and… win a championship? All the sacrifices, all the ups and downs, it was all worth it. It makes the story so much better.
He also said how great it was to feel the support of his hometown community.
“It’s been a different kind of summer, but the best summer of my life,” Wiggins said. “It’s been amazing to come here and feel all of this love and positivity. It’s been great. Just being able to take the trophy home to where it all started for me… where all my friends and my family who helped me get to where I am now.
And as great as the title chase was for Wiggins, he also noted the important role his family played in his NBA journey.
Wiggins explains the 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 talk to my mom (former Olympic track and field star Marita Payne). I can talk to my dad (ex-NBAer Mitchell Wiggins), my brothers, my sister,” Wiggins explained “We’re a very tight-knit 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 watching him enjoy his success with the people who helped him get there is great to see.
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