Golden State Warriors

Andrew Wiggins downplays All-Star buzz: ‘I just gotta keep working’

Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins has been called a lot in his NBA career thus far — No. 1 overall pick, Maple Jordan, Rookie of the Year, First-Team All-Rookie — but he’s yet to earn All-Star status, despite his obvious talent.

He’s found his groove as a Golden State Warrior, however, after the Warriors acquired him via trade in 2020. And All-Star buzz is building around Wiggins this season as it perhaps never has before. When asked about it on Monday, he acknowledged the chatter but downplayed its significance, saying that he simply has to keep up the good work and let the chips fall where they may.

Though Wiggins rightfully brushed the talk aside, an All-Star appearance would be a landmark for his career. He was called “Maple Jordan” due to his Michael Jordan-like skill set and his Canadian heritage but had underwhelmed during his tenure with the Timberwolves. When the Warriors acquired him, many NBA observers thought Golden State over-estimated their ability to get Wiggins’ career back on track.

But they were wrong. Wiggins has been an elite defender and hit multiple career-highs a season ago. This year, he’s improved further, shooting an absurd 42 percent from the 3-point line and playing top-level all-around basketball.

The competition for the All-Star team is fierce, which is probably another reason Wiggins downplayed the notion. Most importantly, he’s contributing to a winning team now. Many thought he would be a career loser, even with the Warriors.

Now, Wiggins is contending for an NBA title and is a big reason for the Warriors’ own resurgence. And if all goes according to plan in Golden State, you can call Wiggins one more thing in the future: NBA champion.

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