2 Weeks After Changing His Jersey Number for Emotional Reasons, Anthony Edwards Roasts $104,720,000 Defensive Phenom

Published 08/17/2023, 9:52 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

With the NBA in the off-season, most of the League’s elite athletes are relaxing and enjoying their vacation. Now that the FIBA World Cup is around the corner, young talent is working hard to help Team USA win the cup. As expected of high-level athletes trying their best to win, there comes trash talk during practice sessions.

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And, similarly, in one such moment, Anthony Edwards took a jab at another young NBA star.

Anthony Edwards doesn’t hold back

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The Timberwolves Wing is having another phenomenal year. As one of the best scorers in the league, Anthony Edwards was selected to the Team USA roster. He began the month of August by declaring that he was changing his jersey number.

After wearing #1 for his first three years in the league, he later switched to #5. He changed his number as a tribute to his late mother and grandmother. This was his number in college too and, as per him, this showcases the “real me”.

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In the latest instance, we may have gotten to see the “real” him. During one of the USA practices, the amazing athlete showcased his bounce. However, this scrimmage became notable for something he said to one of the best two-way Big Forwards in the league.

During the practice, Edwards received the ball and went for a strong slam after a quick first step. Jaren Jackson came close to contesting. Jaren, however, preferred not to rise up and challenge the shot. When Edwards came down after slamming it hard, he made a jibe at Jaren Jackson, shouting, “Jump! Ain’t you the Defensive Player of the Year?”. 

We know the 2023 Defensive Player of the Year for his explosive defense and is one reason he nabbed a four-year $104 million contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Both of them have engaged in intense playoff battles, so a few words from the 2020 #1 Draft Pick are not surprising. 

The two belong to young squads that have a lot of potential

During the 2022 Playoffs, the two squared in the first round, and the Grizzlies won in six games, but it was after a lot of hard work and cutting big deficits. This was a thrilling series where the Wolves squandered a chance to get a lead after fluffing leads.

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While the Grizzlies have recorded way more wins than the Timberwolves in the last couple of seasons, the trajectory of the two is not dissimilar. Put in a tough Western Conference, playoff success has been hard to come by. 

As for Ant, he has been a better scorer than JJJ, but then Jackson Jr is a much better defensive player. Otherwise not afraid of contact, the Grizzlies Forward may have gotten out of the way to avoid an injury or to have an unnecessary collision. But perhaps the dunking Timberwolves scorer wanted more out of the League’s DPOY.

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Watch This Story: 22YO Timberwolves Forward Gets Slapped With a $50,000 Fine Following a Chair Swinging Incident Against Nikola Jokic’s Nuggets

Will this spice up things further when the two square off during the next NBA season? Do share in the comments below. 

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Written by:

Shubham Singh

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Shubham is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. He became a fan of the NBA in late 2000s and his interest skyrocketed after Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks upset the Miami Heat in Six Games during 2011 NBA Finals. He loves looking into playing styles of different players and teams while also trying to analyse what circumstances shape a typical NBA game.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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