Warriors' Andrew Wiggins: Good to Make Critics 'Kick Rocks' After NBA Finals

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 25, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 20: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Golden State Warriors smiles while holding the Larry OBrien Trophy during the 2022 Victory Parade & Rally on June 20, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Josh Leung/NBAE via Getty Images)
Josh Leung/NBAE via Getty Images

Andrew Wiggins has silenced his critics.

"When they talk, it's all motivation," the Golden State Warriors forward told Kameron Hay of Complex. "When I first got here, everyone had something to say. Now, everyone is quiet. ... It's good to just make those guys kick rocks."

andrew wiggins @22wiggins

Holding a grudge and I’m taking it far 😤 <a href="https://t.co/Bxi4aNot6J">pic.twitter.com/Bxi4aNot6J</a>

Whether it was failing to live up to early expectations as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, playing with the pressure of being something of a Kevin Durant replacement after the all-time great left the Warriors or even his role in Jimmy Butler's infamous practice with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Wiggins was seemingly always fighting for respect.

Yet he was an integral part of Golden State's championship run this past season, averaging 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds during the playoffs while defending some of the opposition's best playmakers.

While Stephen Curry is the star and Klay Thompson and Draymond Green generate plenty of headlines as four-time champions, the Warriors likely wouldn't have won the title without Wiggins.

And he will always have that for his critics.