Milestones are, I suppose, for those who have the time to notice them. Reflection is a pastime for those whose best days are behind them, not in front of them.
Anthony Edwards has time for neither.
In a busy week for Edwards — LeBron on Tuesday, a chance at a game-winning shot Wednesday — he was nice enough, though, to make time for an appearance on the Daily Delivery podcast.
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I pointed out to him at the outset that it has been three months since the night of Nov. 18, when the Wolves made him the No. 1 overall pick. In a normal season, three months from the draft would be roughly the start of training camp — with an on-boarding process, Summer League, team workouts, all sorts of things designed to let a rookie get comfortable.
This year, in the compressed NBA schedule, he's already 29 games into his rookie season. As he thinks about those 90 days, does it feel like a whirlwind that is hard to process?
"Nah, man, I don't even think about it," Edwards said. "I just love the game of basketball. So I'm just happy. I'm just blessed to be able to play it every day. ... I've been working for it. So it ain't hard to process for me. I'm just happy to be in this situation."
That's probably the best attitude possible — and a good reminder that for all of us, particularly when we are 19, three months can be both the blink of an eye and an eternity.
And this week, aside from offering that 90-day marker from draft night, was a reminder of how many steps there are in the process of trying to become great.
On Tuesday, Edwards scored a career-high 28 points against the Lakers. Over a 12-game stretch ending with that game, he averaged 18 points, five rebounds and three assists while shooting 38.5% from three-point range and handling increasing ballhandling duties in the absence of D'Angelo Russell.
In that Lakers game, with the score tied 68-all, Edwards drained a three-pointer over LeBron James — himself a former No. 1 pick and, no exaggeration, a man nearly twice Edwards' age. Edwards' trademark smile seemed extra broad as he came back down the court.
"It definitely was a moment," Edwards said. "But my smile wasn't really because I hit a three on him. My smile was because I scored a bucket. But it's definitely a great feeling to score over one of the best players to ever play the game. It was a dream come true. But yeah I was just having a big smile because we competed this time around that we played them."
Edwards scored 10 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter in a rally that came up short. Just 24 hours later, he endured one of his least efficient nights of late: 3-of-15 shooting and eight points against the Pacers.
But one of those makes was a dunk late in the fourth quarter that gave the Wolves a two-point lead. And with the game tied in the closing seconds, the ball was in his hands. He still had the confidence to take the final shot, perhaps aided by what he said is a lot of extra shooting work in the gym after games.
The three-pointer was almost all the way down ... and then it almost impossibly rattled out. Edwards' reaction of disbelief told the story. The Wolves ended up losing 134-128 in overtime, another heartbreaking defeat in a 7-22 season.
There is no column for moral victories in the standings, but it does feel like some Wolves progress has mirrored that of Edwards lately. Their last 11 games have all been decided by single-digits, with many of them very much up for grabs in the closing minutes of fourth quarters.
For the Wolves to be truly successful in the future — and to have those critical possessions go their way — Edwards needs to continue on this upward trajectory.
After 90 days, it's impossible to know exactly what that course is. But I ask anyway: How far can you go?
"I don't know, man. I've got to work. Before I can say what I can become or where I can take it, I've got to work first," Edwards said. "Work comes first, and the goals and accomplishments come later. I can't really say what's going to happen. I've just got to keep working like I have been doing. Stay true to myself. Stay humble, and see where it's going to take me."
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