NEW YORK—There was no shortage of rim-rockers at Barclays Friday night, and Canadian phenom Andrew Wiggins did his home country proud with his “first” MVP award, as one reporter called it after the game. The usual canned answers followed his hardware, but his game was anything but cliché. Most casual fans without League Pass got a chance to see why he was such a coveted prospect even before he suited up for Kansas.
There was the alley-oop…
the 360-degree breakaway…
and the shout-out to Canada after the game.
“This trophy is for the world and most importantly for Canada,” he said while holding the trophy.
Wiggins dismissed any notion this game, or his first 51 real* games with the T-Wolves, were a harbinger of anything.
“I’m only a couple months in,” Wiggins admitted when asked to predict whether the first half of his rookie year could be used to forecast the rest of his career. “I haven’t played a full year.”
A little over half a season proves Wiggins belongs in the Association even if he was traded away from the team that drafted him No. 1 overall before he could team with their stars.
“I think it was the best move for me,” Wiggins said of the trade. “It gave me room and put me in a position where I could grow up faster. In the league, that’s always what’s best for you.”
He certainly looked comfortable dropping 22 points on 8-of-11 from the floor, but teammate Zach LaVine was even better for the USA squad, going 9-of-11 from the field for 22 points of his own.
It was a nice night for Wiggins, but if anyone is talking about his Rising Stars Challenge MVP by this time next year, then the hype was just that.
*You know, with defense