“It doesn’t matter what people think,” Wiggins says.
The 24-year-old former No. 1 draft pick is out to silence critics of the $147-million max contract extension he inked with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017:
“I don’t really look at that too much, top 100 or not top 100,” Wiggins told ESPN. “There’s not 100 players better than me, so it doesn’t matter what people think. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. My job is to come out here and hoop, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
He averaged 18.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists on a career-low 41.2% shooting during the 2018-19 season, which was more focused on the public criticism and trade demands of former teammate Jimmy Butler, the firing of head coach Tom Thibodeau and a “personal” element, which he wouldn’t detail, but he claims he’s ready to put those issues behind him.
“I would say I enjoy it more than I did last year because last year was a rough start,” Wiggins said. “The joy has always been there. I’ve never been on the court and not wanted to play.”
Reestablishing the value of Wiggins with $122 million left on his contract over the next four years after pushing through numerous head coaches will certainly be something to watch in Minnesota this season under the new regime.
“Everyone is counting pockets. Some people are mad about, some people are happy for you,” Wiggins told ESPN. “That’s how the world goes especially when you’ve got something they don’t have or do something they don’t do. That’s how the world goes.
“Even when I averaged almost 24 points and got the max deal people were still saying stuff,” he added. “Look at max players and some max players don’t average as much, but it is what it is. I’m just trying to get right, get back on track.”