The Andrew Wiggins Power Hour

Some of this is chatter; some of it is Mike Breen’s idiosyncratic delivery (courtesy of his alma mater, obviously). The Golden State Warriors enter Game 6 of the NBA Finals with a chance to win their fourth title in eight years largely because of the former number one overall pick, a tweener-ish guy left to falter but by the grace of God, Kevin Durant, and Bob Myers.

Former number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins had a night in Game 5, delivering 26 points and 13 rebounds in a 104-94 victory over the Boston Celtics. It put the Warriors up 3-2, which isn’t even a threatening games lead for Golden State; you know, when the Warriors did go up 3-1. You know how that goes.

That said, you and what you’ll soon read must always consider the sun: Steph Curry, whose singular genius enables all the rest of it. A guy who averaged 26 points per game in the 2015 Finals, over 22 in 2016[1], nearly 27 after adding Kevin Durant in 2017, around the same in 2018 and 30.5 in 2019 does, typically, earn attention from opposing defenses, and he’s been phenomenal in these Finals, Game 4 being his pinnacle.

Curry has always been good in the playoffs; it’s just that he raised the ceiling of expectation for anything that a player built like him can do so fast, so particularly, that everybody adjusted to him, specifically. That undid the Warriors’ game plan just long enough for Golden State to get Wiggins.

Wiggins’ specific, recent luster is attributable to many factors, organizational competence foremost among them: as Tom Ziller more politely outlined earlier, and in no particular order, specific moves include: drafting Steph Curry; keeping Steph Curry; drafting Klay Thompson; keeping Klay Thompson; drafting Draymond Green; keeping Draymond Green; and maintaining a stable house otherwise, whether between in-house role players (Kevon Looney) or via free agency (Andre Iguodala, again, or Gary Payton II).

Despite, or perhaps in spite of, all of this, Wiggins will be Big Talk™ on Thursday night during Game 6. To prepare us all, it seems fitting to have an Andrew Wiggins drinking/smoking/laughing/living game in place. While I like the ESPN live play commentary for the most part – no, certainly not its halftime show – this is distinctly not Inside The NBA, so gamifying this for your own sake may be worthwhile.

You don’t have to be doing anything nefarious-adjacent to participate – in fact, you don’t even have to know who Andrew Wiggins is, other than his name, that he plays basketball, and that he is on a TV you may end up near this evening. You just have to listen to the broadcast and do literally whatever you want[2] whenever you hear these names, places or phrases, because they will come up, whether they directly have to do with Wiggins or not (Note: I realize this isn’t, strictly speaking, a “power hour” in the traditional sense, and is rather a list of sixty things variously related to Andrew Wiggins, but if you want to think about each of these things in relation to Andrew Wiggins for sixty seconds, be my guest):

  1. “First overall pick”
  2. He acts out about a call
  3. He smiles (check #7 to be sure)
  4. Jonathan Kuminga
  5. A Canadian flag on-screen
  6. He gets to the middle of nowhere midrange and hits
  7. Talk of him as Finals MVP
  8. Fouls the opposing player, smiles anyway (cancels out #3)
  9. “All-Star, for the first time this year”
  10. Executes a defensive switch effectively
  11. “Maple Jordan”
  12. Mitchell Wiggins
  13. Bob Myers talk
  14. James Naismith
  15. “College teammates with Joel Embiid”
  16. Check Twitter right now for Bruno Caboclo, to see if he’s trending
  17. Commits a turnover, but Draymond and/or Steph gives him a high five anyway
  18. Commits a turnover, but Klay ignores it (because he’s not close enough to give the high five)
  19. Check Twitter right now for the phrase “two years away from being two years away,” just in case
  20. “He went to Kansas”
  21. That Wiggins is a member of the Canadian national team
  22. Uncut Gems sequel”
  23. Any mention of the salary cap
  24. “Almost 24 points per game!! And then—”
  25. Joel Embiid
  26. Specifically this phrase: “The trade that brought Kevin Love to Cleveland…” (this cancels out #25)
  27. Anthony Bennett
  28. A commercial in which Shaq features
  29. Kevin Love (check #21 to be sure)
  30. A Joel Embiid mention that doesn’t also mention Kansas
  31. “Junior Jordan”
  32. Kinston, North Carolina
  33. A Kia commercial – easy­
  34. “I don’t understand that”
  35. A replay of Wiggins’ Game 5 dunk over Derrick White
  36. Any mention of the Minnesota Timberwolves practice where Jimmy Butler dressed down the entire organization
  37. Guy Fieri (drink twice)
  38. Nick Wiggins
  39. “We’re rolling out,” or any other Fieri-related phrase the viewer deems appropriate in reaction to a Wiggins dunk/steal/play of any kind
  40. Tom Thibodeau
  41. Wiggins corner three
  42. A quote about KAT talking about Andrew Wiggins
  43. “We’re hungry”
  44. Any mention of the luxury tax (drink twice)
  45. “Checkbook win/victory” and/or “Direct deposit championship”
  46. A quote about Jimmy Butler talking about Andrew Wiggins
  47. Wiggins block on a guard
  48. Kevin Garnett
  49. Mention of the Zach Lowe ESPN piece on the Durant-D’Angelo Russell trades that brought Wiggins to Golden State
  50. “McDonald’s All-American”
  51. Jeff Teague, for some reason
  52. Wiggins high fives a security guard on the way to the locker room at halftime
  53. “Draft protections”
  54. Wiggins assist
  55. A Jimmer Fredette mention
  56. “I’m not quitting”
  57. Talk of Wiggins’ defense on Luka Doncic
    1. Correctly identifying Chase Center music in reaction to a Wiggins play
  58. E-40 (drink twice)
  59. Huntington, West Virginia

A full-scale assessment of what this series is and is supposed to represent, well…it doesn’t feel right. This, like most of Andrew Wiggins’ career, feels right in its own way, however many twists it has taken. Wiggins isn’t a bust; nor are you. Enjoy this Game 6, as best you can.

[1] His LeBron-in-2011, as it’s starting to turn out…

[2] “Frequency/Phrase/Tendency Game” is better than “drinking game” in an age of increased and often selective sobriety, but we’re going with “drinking game” here for now in the hopes that this sparks something different. You know you’re already playing beer pong with water anyway.


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