SAN FRANCISCO – Andrew Wiggins played for the Minnesota Timberwolves for six years, but believes that being a member of the Golden State Warriors has found a much better basketball home in a “winning culture”.
After playing the Timberwolves for the first time in his career, the quietly spoken swingman made it clear that he was more comfortable with the Warriors’ “organized” team.
“They are a championship team,” said Wiggins after scoring 23 points and scoring six rebounds, while explaining some of the differences he sees. “It’s very positive here, very positive, everyone gets along. No ego, nothing like that. Everyone just wants to win. It’s just a winning attitude, a winning culture, it’s all about winning. And we all want to get better, everyone lifts each other up and cheers each other, so all here is love. “
Wiggins, formerly number 1 overall, acquired through a deal that sent former Timberwolves great Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers, admitted it felt different for the first time, his old squad to play.
“I was excited,” said Wiggins. “It felt good playing against my previous team. It was good to see them and catch up and obviously compete against each other. It’s all love for these guys, it’s part of the business. I think it brings on competitiveness the next level. I feel like us. ” our job and that most importantly we got the victory. “
The difference in Wiggins’ game in the first month of this season is consistency. After years of ups and downs in Minnesota, Wiggins was much more determined to put in solid efforts every night, especially on the defensive side. Warriors teammates and coaches have repeatedly praised Wiggins for his newfound defensive skills. Warriors star Stephen Curry recently said the team had started calling him “two-way wiggs.”
Wiggins confirmed that reputation in victory on Monday with three steals and three blocks in 30 minutes.
“He really competes in this area,” said Warriors striker Draymond Green after the game. “Since he’s been here he’s shown he’s a very capable defender and he’s made up a few points this year which has been great for us. He really changed the game in that area for us.”
Wiggins cited the detailed nature of the warrior culture as one of the reasons he performed so well with his new team.
“Sure it’s different because everything is organized here,” said Wiggins. “You know what you do every night, you know what you’re getting into, you know what minutes you’re going to play, you know your rotation. There were a few years in Minnesota where you knew everything I was with coach Thibs [Tom Thibodeau]Thibs was very organized. And Thibs was very clear, he was very straightforward. That’s one thing they are doing here, they are very simple. They won’t gloss over anything. There are no trick questions. So it is good.”
Wiggins, who was acquired last season as part of a deal that gave the Warriors a future selection for the Timberwolves first round and sent D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota, said earlier in the season that this was the luckiest thing that he felt in his career.
“I know he is enjoying it and we are enjoying having him here,” said Warriors manager Steve Kerr. He was a great addition to our team. That’s exactly how the NBA works. Most of the players are exposed to the circumstances and I think we have a really good situation for Andrew. It’s not easy to be number one trying to run a franchise. It’s just a job that a few can take on. I just think Andrew is in a good place. He does everything we asked and was fantastic defensively. It’s a pleasure to train him, in a good rhythm on the offensive and a great addition to our team. “
Kerr had to smile when asked if beating the Timberwolves means anything more, as the Warriors have the rights to the future selection of the team’s first round, which will be in the top three in 2021 and would be unprotected next year if this would not convey.
“Yes,” said Kerr. “I’ll be honest.”
Wiggins was also honest when asked if he would like to end his career with the Warriors, given the early success he had with the team.
“I would love to do it,” he said. “It’s a great organization. You treat me here with love and respect. Treat my family well. So I don’t see why not? I would love to.”