There are many times Anthony Edwards is in a joking, jovial mood in his postgame press conference. Monday, after the Wolves lost to the Pelicans 107-98, was not one of those times.
The loss marked only the first of the season for the Wolves, but to hear Edwards talk, you might've thought the Wolves were mired in a long losing streak.
He was fed up with how the offense has performed over the Wolves' first three games, when they have shot just 41%. In particular, Edwards laid some of his harshest assessments at the feet of himself, Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell.
In particular, Edwards said the three are taking up too much oxygen in the offense, shooting too much and not getting their teammates involved.
"We think we the only ones on the team," Edwards said. "We got to be willing to pass the ball. There's no 'I' in team. We can't beat five people with three people. We beat five people with five people. We got to be willing to play with our teammates. Trust our teammates and ... share the ball."
What was also notable about Edwards' postgame comments was the tone and context in which he delivered his words. This wasn't Edwards, the rookie from last season. This was Edwards, a leader of the Wolves, embracing the authority and responsibility that comes with being one of the best players on the team. He didn't mince words and wasn't afraid to call out his other prolific teammates for needing to step up their games.
"Offense is easy, and we're making it hard," Edwards said. "Us three. It's all on us. We're making it hard, because we think we can win the game, and we can't win the game. We're not good enough. So once again, we've got to trust our teammates, get them the ball. Get them in open spots, open shots, because that'll make the game easier for us."
Multiple times, Edwards said they need to share the ball with hard-working teammates, to reward players like Josh Okogie for his tenacity on defense
"He guards [the opponent's best players] every night and he gives us his all," Edwards said. "I'd feel the same way about not getting shots. I can't say I feel him, but I can see his pain and we gotta help him. We got to help the other guys for sure.
He also referenced himself, Towns and Russell playing hero ball a little too much.
"One of us got the ball in our hands — me, KAT or DLo got the ball, and we can shoot it at any given time," Edwards said. "We've got to make [our teammates] feel love. They play defense, they rebound, they're doing all the little things that we're not doing. So if we're not giving them the ball, then what are we doing?"
From a broader perspective, Edwards' comments perhaps marked a shift in his relationship to the rest of the team. No longer was he going to shy away from saying something in a practice or a game, nor will he shy away from telling Russell and Towns what they need to do better.
"Because we take all the shots?" Edwards said. "We got to be willing to lead and speak up and correct each other when we wrong, for sure. … I don't really talk too much as far as on the court. I let my game lead. But now I see that I'm gonna start talking more as far as, 'You need to lock in, bruh. Pass the ball. Four people on you, pass the ball, know what I'm sayin?' I'm finna start talking a lot more. It'll be better coming from me, know what I'm saying?"
The Wolves will likely find out soon enough what Edwards is saying.