When Andrew Wiggins arrived at the Sixers’ offices yesterday, he should have been wearing a sign on his back: “Disaster Ahead!” Because that is exactly what he represents in the NBA draft nine days from now. He will break the heart of whatever team picks him. He will be a bust. Bet on it.
At the risk of redundancy, I offer my second consecutive week of dire warnings about Wiggins, the forward from Kansas whose extraordinary talents are exceeded only by his soft inner core. (Don’t miss part three here next week.) Wiggins is precisely the kind of player designed to slip right past the analytics probing of GM Sam Hinkie because there are no statistical breakdowns on heart.
Last week, ESPN reported that Wiggins prefers to play in Philadelphia, a report that drew acclaim here for an obvious reason. We love to be wanted. The only problem is, any player who prefers the Sixers right now is not the kind of young star they need. Wiggins wants to play on a team with one proven player — Michael Carter-Williams — and two other possible contributors, Thaddeus Young and Nerlens Noel? Really?
Now why would that be? It’s obvious. Because he wants to be in a place with no early expectations, no pressure. Remember, Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil is already on the record saying he doesn’t expect the team to make the playoffs next season — which is precisely what Wiggins wanted to hear.
So let’s review. Wiggins scored four points in the biggest game of his career, Kansas coach Bill Self said the young player lacks the mentality of “the Alpha dog,” and the kid is looking for a soft place to land in the NBA draft. The bottom line: Andrew Wiggins is an amazing athlete with no backbone.
When he left Philadelphia yesterday after his visit, Sixers fans all need to hope really, really hard that Wiggins was carrying a one-way ticket out of town.
- Ten days after Darin Ruf was told he didn’t have a broken wrist, the Phillies outfielder/first baseman learned that he actually did have a fracture. OK, how many screw-ups is that now for the team’s medical staff? Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and now Ruf. Is it time yet for some new doctors and trainers?
- Lane Johnson got into trouble with his teammates last week when the Eagles lineman Tweeted the receipt from a $17,000 dinner he paid for at a rookie dinner. Johnson’s mistake was not bragging about his generosity; it was about Tweeting, period. How many players have to get burned before they realize this?
- If you’re looking for the biggest goat in the NBA Finals, start with loudmouth Chris Bosh, who guaranteed a win in Game 5 before his Miami Heat got demolished by San Antonio. In the 39 minutes Bosh played, the Spurs outscored the Heat by 20 points. Talk is cheap, even when you’re making $19 million a year.
- Bravo to new Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin, a huge Philadelphia sports fans who gushed about many of the big recent moments of the Phillies and Eagles during his introductory news conference last week. Hey, I still hate soccer, but now I’m rooting for Jim Curtin.
- The biggest sports event in the universe, the World Cup, is under way. Just do me one favor, OK? Wake me up when it’s over.