Wolves’ Edwards credits Kerr for eureka moment, shaping NBA career originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Anthony Edwards is one of the brightest young talents in the NBA. With his elite scoring ability and magnetic personality, it’s easy to imagine the Minnesota Timberwolves guard becoming a renowned superstar in the league over the next decade.
Entering the 2020 NBA Draft, however, there were question marks surrounding his work ethic and passion for the game of basketball. Edwards tried to debunk that narrative in his pre-draft workouts with three teams — the Wolves, Charlotte Hornets and the Warriors, who owned the No. 2 pick. His mindset on the basketball court changed forever after working out for Golden State and receiving career-altering advice from coach Steve Kerr.
While Kerr, general manager Bob Myers and other members of the Warriors front office watched his pre-draft workout, Edwards attempted a drill that Steph Curry participates in often.
“I’m doing this drill that they say Steph be doing,” Edwards said in a YouTube interview with Jake’s Takes. “I’m running, touching the line, shoot. Running, touching the line, shoot. You’ve got to make five in a row. I couldn’t do it. I’m too tired. I’m like, ‘Man, it’s just too much.’ But I’m not saying this, so I’m just jogging.”
Kerr didn’t approve of that.
“After the workout, Steve comes to me like, ‘You can’t go any faster?’ I’m like, ‘I thought I was going pretty fast.’ He was like, ‘Nah, do it again.’”
And even that second effort still didn’t satisfy Kerr. He asked Edwards to try it again.
“So now, I’m trying to sprint, and now I’m looking all crazy,” Edwards said. “Missing left, missing right. So then we go to dinner and he’s telling me, ‘Man, if we draft you at No. 2, you’ve got to be a hard worker. You ain’t working hard enough.'”
Advice from Kerr, an eight-time NBA champion — three as a coach and five as a player — didn’t go wasted on Edwards.
“I think that was a stumble in the road for me. I call my trainer afterwards and was like, ‘Hey bro, we’ve got to change,'” Edwards said. “… Ever since then is when I felt like I took that next step.”
Selected by Minnesota with the draft’s top pick, Edwards, the 2020-21 Rookie of the Year runner-up, wasn’t available at No. 2 for Golden State. But he did benefit from a day spent learning from Kerr, a moment he clearly recalls two years later.