Anthony Edwards: From Pre-Draft Critique to NBA Stardom

In the world of professional basketball, few moments are as defining as the NBA draft.

by Faruk Imamovic
Anthony Edwards: From Pre-Draft Critique to NBA Stardom
© Getty Images Sport/Harrison Barden

In the world of professional basketball, few moments are as defining as the NBA draft. For Minnesota Timberwolves sensation Anthony Edwards, one such defining moment came not on draft night, but during a pre-draft workout with Steve Kerr, the acclaimed Golden State Warriors coach.

A Memorable Meeting: Kerr's Candid Critique

Back in the lead-up to the 2020 NBA draft, where Edwards was eventually chosen as the No. 1 overall pick by the Timberwolves, the rising star met with Kerr for what was supposed to be a standard workout.

But, as Edwards recalled at a recent Timberwolves media day, the session was anything but ordinary. “I thought I was working hard,” reflected Edwards. However, Kerr saw it differently, challenging the young player throughout the drills. “That's all you got?” Kerr would ask, pushing Edwards to give more.

It was a wake-up call. "Me and my trainer riding home after dinner and we're just talking like we got to pick it up," Edwards shared. "After that, I became a madman at the gym."

The Rise to Stardom

The transformation was evident.

Edwards, now 22, went on to make his first All-Star team in the 2022-23 season, coupled with a stellar performance internationally and securing a whopping $260 million contract extension. It’s clear his dedication in the gym is paying off.

Kerr, who worked closely with Edwards during the FIBA World Cup, could see the change. “He's unquestionably the guy,” Kerr praised after Edwards' stunning 34-point game against Germany. “He genuinely believes he's the best player in the gym every single night.

I think he's taking a leap”. Interestingly, the two had a chance to discuss that pivotal pre-draft workout over the summer. Edwards was gracious, crediting Kerr for transforming his work habits. "They played a huge role in where I am today," Edwards admitted.

But as the rising star gears up for his fourth season, he's grounded in his approach, emphasizing the role of teamwork in achieving further success. “I'm going to need my teammates to do it," Edwards said. "I can't do anything without my teammates." With such a balanced perspective and a thirst for growth, the sky is the limit for Edwards.

One thing's for certain: he won't be resting on his laurels. As his past has shown, every critique is merely a stepping stone to greatness.