Anthony Edwards of the Timberwolves can now not escape the glory

PHOENIX – Fresh off arguably a very powerful performance of his young profession, Anthony Edwards sat before the world wearing a white tank top and an all-black, fitted Atlanta Braves cap that sat loosely and hovered just above his wispy hairline – and that's what he made looks in Outkasts “Player's Ball” video looks more like an additional than the long run face of the NBA.

Edwards is who he’s. Dumb. Adorable. Intelligent. Country. He wears all of it, loud and proud. He can be a competitor. A trash talker. He wears all of these items just as loudly, just as proudly.

If you add all of it up, you might have one star. When you add all of those things together and post a 40-point performance in a playoff-clinching 122-116 win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night, you begin to emerge as a superstar.

Still, for one reason or one other, Edwards is afraid to go there. As honest, daring and self-confident as he could also be, there’s a certain shyness within the 22-year-old in terms of talking about his position in the game's most prestigious club.

A yr ago, before a first-round loss to the eventual champion Denver Nuggets, Edwards said he couldn't call himself a young star until he “wins in the playoffs.”

A yr later he did. In addition to winning the playoffs, Edwards was the alpha in a series that featured players like Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, his all-time favorite player. Edwards led his organization to a height it hadn't seen in 20 years within the second round of the NBA playoffs. He did it with breathtaking dunks. He did it with a sweet shot punch. He did it with an arm-gnawing defense. He did it with leadership. He did it with WWE “Suck It!” extracurricular activities. He did it while listening to the player he'd looked as much as since he was five years old.

These are the things that make stars. This is what fame looks like.

“No, not yet, man,” Edwards said Sunday after reaching the benchmark he set for himself a yr ago. “Not yet.”

Edwards, without knowing it, has lost the privilege of deciding what he’s and isn't on this league.

Kevin Durant congratulates Anthony Edwards after Minnesota beat Phoenix in the primary round of the NBA playoffs. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

If you rating 40 points in a decisive series win – on the road – you're a star. If you played 79 games within the regular season and were the very best player on a team that was only one game shy of your conference's best record, you're a star. If, on the age of twenty-two, you’re certainly one of twelve players chosen to represent your country on the Olympics, you’re a star. If you make everyone laugh each time you stand in front of a microphone and order McDonald's on Uber Eats right after a game like he did in Detroit last season, you're a star.

“He’s the face of the league,” said teammate Karl-Anthony Towns, sitting next to Edwards as his reserved side took center stage as he discussed his status within the NBA. “He hates it when I say it, but it’s true. Like I said, “The future is so bright, I have to put the sunglasses on.” ”

Normal players don't decide to dominate once they have the possibility to finally eliminate their opponent. You don't have that ability. The Stars shoot 11 of 15 from the sector and rating 31 points within the second half when their team trails at halftime, as Edwards did Sunday. Towards the top of the fourth quarter, the Stars gathered the last of their energy to throw out a “Night, night!” Dunk – as he did with just over two minutes left in the sport, when he crossed Bradley Beal on the wing, took a collected dribble, launched from outside the sector and pushed his childhood hero out of the best way while punishing the rim as if he would have met his sister.

Stars get caught up in all of the chaos against their other star teammate once they do something flawed, like Edwards did when Towns committed one other unnecessary foul and the sport was within the balance.

Edwards can now not escape from it. No matter how hard he tries. If he doesn't need to be a star, then stop acting like one.

“He rose to the occasion,” Wolves forward Kyle Anderson said.

Stars also make their teammates higher. That's the meaning of a star. An individual's gravity gives greater intending to the existence of others.

Edwards dismantled the Suns defense as a playmaker. The 40 points will grab the headlines, but he also had six assists with just two turnovers in 41 minutes of play. He must have had greater than 10 assists, however the Wolves couldn't buy a basket in the primary 24 minutes of the sport.

There were signs of this throughout the season, however it was on this series that Edwards blossomed as a creator for others. There were times early in his profession when it felt like he died because he needed to. He had nowhere else to go.

As the season went on and that playoff series got here to an in depth, Edwards welcomed blitzes so he could gain benefits to make the pass to an open man so he could get his teammates involved within the flow of the sport, in order that was the case for the Timberwolves team could potentially do something that just one other team has done within the franchise's 35-year history.

But yeah, Edwards isn't a star.

“He's a good person,” said Minnesota assistant coach Micah Nori, who filled in for coach Chris Finch after he suffered a serious leg injury following a collision on the sideline within the fourth quarter. “And what I mean by that is that they trust him. He has some self-humor. You've seen all of his interviews. He is the first to congratulate and give all his glory to his teammates. They all love him.

“When he plays, makes the right play and they know he takes care of not only himself but the team, he’s done a good job in that regard.”

Edwards can proceed to run from the label all he wants, but when he doesn't need to embrace it for fear of satisfaction, it’ll never go away. His considering is correct. His intentions are good. But it's inconceivable for anyone with two eyes and a pinch of sense to not see a star when they appear at Edwards.

From this point on, there is no such thing as a point in asking Edwards about it. He spoke – along with his game and his personality. He never has to say it out loud. We will all proceed to say it for him.

“He’s the player I like watching the most,” Durant said of his star student after Sunday’s game. “He’s just grown so much since he came into the league. At 22, his love for the game shines so clearly. That's one of the reasons I like him the most because he just loves basketball and is grateful to be in this position.

“He will be someone I will follow for the rest of his career.”

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