There was a lot of Wiggins news yesterday, first with the Thamel article coming out saying he’d prefer a “low key” college experience, then his monster 57 point game on 86% shooting. The best part about those two separate pieces of information, though, is that they’re not really separate at all. According to his Coach, Wiggins has a mean streak and set about last night’s demolition intentionally, and methodically. Rob Fulford told SNY.tv:
He was 100 percent pissed at the SI article degrading former players from Canada, his family and him personally. I told him earlier today that people would want to see how he responded to his first taste of negative reporting. I challenged him to get 50 and told his teammates he was going for 50. He had 57 and was upset that I took him out before he got to 60. Point proven.
Friiiickin’ a. So, not only did this kid tolerate a pretty negative article by one of the most annoying guys in the business, but he called his own monster game. Just, you know, decided he was gonna get fifty, and then did. If his skills weren’t enough to make you want him at UK, that killer attitude should just about do it.
And that’s no small task, considering the contents of the piece weren’t just about Andrew’s supposed college destination. Thamel poked at his father, Mitchell Wiggins, saying he was best known “for a two-year suspension for testing positive for cocaine.” Oh, and it was released at almost the exact same time as the Player of the Year nominations, which of course had Wiggins’ name on it. Andrew spoke on the article after the game: “I just had to respond to the negative outlook that the reporter gave me. I thought I responded well. Negative media happens to everybody. You just have to work through it and respond.”
So if Andrew is capable of responding like this every time a media member takes a veiled (or open) shot at him, then he and Jerr Bear would get along very well. I won’t say that Jerry would purposely point out his dad’s former troubles with drugs in an article seemingly timed precisely to defame right as Player of the Year polls come out, but he might throw out some subtle jabs. And those might be enough to make Wiggins go nuclear again and destroy whatever team is in his path.
His teammate, Moses Kingsley, summed everything up nicely on Twitter:
I guess that article gave him more edge cus he dropped 57pts tonight! Now what!!!
– Moses Kingsley (@KingMoses_) February 8, 2013