As a senior at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Atlanta, Anthony Edwards commuted about an hour each way from his home in the city’s southern reaches. In addition to the geographical distance, the challenge was that he had no reliable mode of transportation. So he would lean on friends, family members, neighbors, and coaches to ferry him back and forth. They wanted to help. People just enjoyed being around him,” said Tysor Anderson, Edwards’s coach at Holy Spirit, who was among those who gave him occasional rides.
Anderson, though, was more impressed that Edwards somehow made it work — that he was resourceful enough to find his way to school each morning. “He figured it out,” Anderson said. Edwards’s ability to figure things out is a skill that he has been working to apply this season as a first-year shooting guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves, a longtime fixer-upper franchise. As the top overall pick in last year’s N.B.A.
Draft Edwards, 19, has been the center of attention for a struggling team, offering the Timberwolves’ fans some hope for the future. Glimpses of that future have come in the form of a 42-point performance against the Phoenix Suns and highlight-reel plays, including a dunk against the Toronto Raptors that was so explosive. Edwards immediately peered toward the Jumbotron above center court so that he could watch a replay.
I was like, ‘Damn, that’s crazy,’” he said
Edwards, who appears to be 6 feet 4 inches and 225 pounds of tightly coiled springs, is averaging 18.3 points and 4.3 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who are 16-44 ahead of their game against the Utah Jazz Saturday night. Edwards has already revealed himself to be one of the league’s more engaging personalities, a player who has managed to elevate humdrum, pandemic-era video conference calls to high art. There was an interaction with an Irish reporter that went viral after his accent drew admiration from Edwards — “I want to learn how to talk like that,” he said — and, more recently, the rookie’s introduction to Alex Rodriguez, who is nearing a deal to become one of the Timberwolves’ new owner.