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NBA champ Andrew Wiggins talks winning culture in Golden State, Klay Thompson’s return and latest partnership

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There’s an inclination in sports to expect an excessive amount of too quickly out of athletes.  

It’s the tendency to make snap judgments; of too quickly bailing on the very athletes we were so excited to cheer for just years prior.

We’re all guilty of it. 

From fans to media alike, we frequently resolve quickly whether an athlete has or will live as much as the expectations we’ve set for them, often falling by the wayside on their profession mere years into them.

Andrew Wiggins, #22 of the Golden State Warriors, poses for a portrait with the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after winning Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals on June 16, 2022 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 
(Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Andrew Wiggins was one in every of those players who was in our sights after his first few years as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves were stuffed with many highlights but not a variety of winning after being drafted No. 1 overall within the 2014 NBA Draft.

Now, just a couple of years after his NBA profession was questioned, Wiggins is an NBA champion.

When Wiggins was traded to the Golden State Warriors in 2019, many questioned the move, wondering whether Wiggins could ever be a key cog on a championship roster.

Then, something happened. The culture in Golden State brought out the very best in Wiggins.

“They only allow you to play your game,” Wiggins told Fox News Digital. “They put everyone ready to do well. Great coaching staff, great organization, great people around that know basketball. And my teammates are amazing. Playing alongside future Hall of Famers, you learn quite a bit. They keep you motivated.”

Golden State Warriors Andrew Wiggins, #22, in action, dribbles vs Boston Celtics Al Horford, #42, at TD Garden. Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals.

Golden State Warriors Andrew Wiggins, #22, in motion, dribbles vs Boston Celtics Al Horford, #42, at TD Garden. Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals.
(Photo by Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

We regularly blame only the athlete for not living as much as our lofty expectations, not understanding that sometimes all that is required is a change in scenery or a special voice of their ear.

“Steve [Kerr] is an excellent coach. A player’s coach,” Wiggins said. “He’s going to place everyone ready to do well. He gives all his players confidence, and if you’re on the court, he helps you to play your game. Whatever your game is, he helps you to play it.

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“He keeps his team motivated. He keeps his team going, and he holds everyone accountable.

The turnaround was amazing to observe. Wiggins became greater than a solid defender, often tasked with guarding the opponent’s best offensive player throughout Golden State’s return to the highest of the NBA.

Wiggins was arguably Golden State’s second most precious player throughout their championship run – behind only Steph Curry – averaging 18.3 points and eight.8 rebounds per game within the NBA Finals.

He’s now a sought-after player, partnering with Invisalign, which Wiggins says, “is for everybody.”

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“We now have a tremendous partnership, and one in every of the explanations I desired to work with Invisalign, is that they have essentially the most advanced clear liners on the planet immediately,” Wiggins said of working with Invisalign. 

“They’re top-notch, and it’s available to everybody. They offer you confidence and it’s easy. You possibly can still enjoy your on a regular basis life. Eat what you would like. Do what you would like and revel in the time. You don’t feel it, so it helps you even if you don’t understand it’s helping you.

Andrew Wiggins, #22 of the Golden State Warriors, celebrates with The Larry O'Brien trophy after Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals on June 16, 2022 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Andrew Wiggins, #22 of the Golden State Warriors, celebrates with The Larry O’Brien trophy after Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals on June 16, 2022 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

“It’s there for everyone. And it does help.”

It’s one in every of sports higher stories, a superior athlete finally reaching the expectations which have been set for him.

Along the best way, Wiggins has been lucky enough to play with a few of the very best the NBA has ever seen, helping Curry and Draymond Green climb from the depths of the NBA to becoming champions for the fourth time, and watching fan-favorite Klay Thompson return to the court after two devastating injuries.

“He’s such an excellent guy and I feel like everyone that’s been around him knows how hard he works,” Wiggins said when asked about Thompson’s return to the court in January. “And the way much work he put it in to get back. He had a devastating injury, got here back, after which got hurt again. And I feel like that hurt the NBA world because he’s such an excellent player and an excellent guy.

“To see how hard he worked to get back, after which to see the success as soon as he gets back, it was amazing. Any hooper likes to see a comeback story. It’s priceless. And his journey was priceless. It was amazing to observe.”

Wiggins has quite a bit to take care of over the approaching months, with the eight-year-pro extension eligible as he enters the ultimate yr of his contract. For now though, Wiggins is solely having fun with life as an NBA champion, grateful to be a part of the Golden State family.

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“I really like Golden State,” Wiggins said. “I really like the organization. They treat me and my family so well. I find it irresistible.”

Wiggins is a lesson for us all – don’t be so quick to evaluate the athletes we so enjoy watching. Sometimes a little bit patience is required. 

Joe Morgan is a Sports Reporter for Fox News.

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