Anthony Edwards Says Anyone Still Debating No. 1 Pick 'Can Just Kick Rocks'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Minnesota Timberwolves's Anthony Edwards (1) on court in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Stacy Bengs/Associated Press

After a tough start to his rookie season, Anthony Edwards is realizing his potential. The No. 1 overall pick has scored at least 19 points in seven straight games, highlighted by a 34-point effort in Sunday's 114-112 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

After that triumph, Edwards sent a message to his doubters.

"To talk about who they should have took No. 1, they took me. It's over. It's nothing to talk about. On to the next. We're trying to win basketball games at this point. Whoever is still talking about that, they can just kick rocks, I guess" Edwards told reporters.

Some have criticized the Wolves for selecting Edwards over LaMelo Ball, who has emerged as the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year. Ball has been a superstar since joining the Hornets' starting lineup, averaging 20.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 17 games as a starter while knocking down 45.5 percent of his threes.

Edwards has had moments of brilliance but has been inconsistent, making just 38.1 percent of his field goals and 31.5 percent of his threes. A light has seemingly switched on of late, with Edwards committing to being more aggressive with the Wolves needing scoring help in place of D'Angelo Russell. He's attempted at least 18 shots in each of the last seven games, a promising sign after he seemed to be trying to find a balance for most of the first half.

Comparisons are natural when it comes to the draft, and it's fair to wonder if the Wolves' future might have been brighter if they would have taken Ball. That said, the noise will get a lot quieter if Edwards has more nights like Sunday.