Jun 26, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT
BROOKLYN – Andrew Wiggins would have been the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft had he been permitted to enter it. Top-pick status wasn’t quite a birthright for him, but he’s held prodigy status since middle school.
Yet, a year at Kansas threatened to derail his ascent to the stage at Barclays Center. For a while, his Jawhawk teammate, Joel Embiid, passed him on most draft boards. Jabari Parker never stopped threatening. Even Dante Exum made a surprisingly strong case to go first overall.
But by the time Wiggins arrived in Brooklyn on Thursday, he was determined to make this night his.
Wearing a black and white flowery suit jacket and a black bowtie, Wiggins listened to Adam Silver call his name No. 1. From there Wiggins, dressed to the nines and holding a place in history, was all smiles.
“We just wanted to do something really different to just stand out and try to win on both points – stylish points and become No. 1,” Wiggins said.
We’ll never know what Wiggins would have said had he fallen past Cleveland, but you don’t wear that suit if you think you might fall. The outfit screams confidence, not a prospect moping over a draft-night tumble.
Look the part, be the part.
“I always wanted to be the No. 1 pick,” Wiggins said.
This became the night Wiggins wanted, but because he’s headed to the Cavaliers, he can’t even take the spotlight without LeBron James getting mentioned. Asked to make a pitch for LeBron returning to Cleveland, Wiggins smiled big before answering.
“I want to win,” Wiggins said. “If he wants to win, we’d be good together.”
Wiggins also deftly sidestepped another potential landmine in a question about whether the draft should even exist to push labor to specific markets. It’s a complex legal issue with valid arguments about economics and collusion.
“I don’t mind it,” Wiggins said with another smile.
Of course he doesn’t. This draft, after years of anticipation, treated him oh so well.
The questions continued for Wiggins, many about what this means for Canada and Kansas. He grinned through all of them.
It’s a good moment for Canada, he said. It’s a good moment for Kansas, he said.
Mostly, it’s a good moment for Andrew Wiggins.
Aug 21, 2014, 1:33 AM EDT
He also was a scoring machine at the showcase in Las Vegas.
Aug 20, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT
16 players will practice and be available for Friday’s game against Puerto Rico, but the roster needs to be trimmed to 12 in advance of the FIBA World Cup.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:44 PM EDT
Rose hasn’t practiced since playing 24 minutes in Saturday’s win over Brazil.
Aug 20, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT
Stephen Curry says yes, Kevin Durant says no.
Aug 20, 2014, 6:19 PM EDT
Nedovic had hoped to play for Serbia, but couldn’t get medical clearance.
Aug 20, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT
Video game Curry doesn’t come close to shooting as well as the real life version.
Aug 20, 2014, 4:12 PM EDT
If Bledsoe decides to play for the qualifying offer, he’ll almost certainly bolt as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Aug 20, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
Aug 20, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT
Strangest comparison ever. And pretty accurate.
Aug 20, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT
Photo is excellent.
Aug 20, 2014, 12:09 PM EDT
Miami could use the depth, but at this point the pickings are slim.
Aug 20, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT
Move would be purely financial for Philadelphia, but if Stoudemire is contributing at that time, Knicks may pass.
Aug 20, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT
He makes some points.
Aug 20, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT
It goes much deeper than that.
Aug 20, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT
You cannot push all the way back from knee surgery without having pain.
Kobe Bryant says he will not be same player as before, says he’s evolved into something equally good
Aug 20, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT
Kobe has plenty of doubters now to fuel him.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Best NBA Jam duo on a current team? Give me Durant and Westbrook.
Aug 20, 2014, 12:01 AM EDT
Bryant appears on latest Sports Illustrated cover.
Aug 19, 2014, 10:29 PM EDT
Highlights only serve as a reminder of just how bad things were in Los Angeles.
- Should NBA coaches get NFL style challenge flags? 13
- Report: Suns discussing trade possibilities for Eric Bledsoe 21
- Report: Sixers may look to trade for Amar’e Stoudemire at this season’s deadline 31
- Kevin Durant reiterates that rest was his reason for withdrawing from Team USA 9
- Derrick Rose sits out another Team USA practice, not likely to start Wednesday 23
- DeMarcus Cousins practices with team USA Tuesday, says he’s 50-50 for Wednesday game 2