Andrew Wiggins is having a stellar first season with the Minnesota Timberwolves

VIDEO: Steve Nash talks Andrew Wiggins, Canada’s ‘golden era’ of basketball

The former Victoria kid – schooled in Saanich – has a new view from above, as the general manager of Canada's national men's team.



Steve Nash is a fan, man.

The all-time great Canadian point guard – raised and schooled in Victoria and Saanich, – offered his praise to rising phoenix Andrew Wiggins, the Toronto kid who’s in the middle of a should-be award-winning first season with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Andrew’s been phenomenal,” Nash said Monday. “He’s very young, he has a bright future, and his rookie season’s been incredible. I don’t think people understand what a jump it is from college to the pros, and sometimes how difficult it can be to be in a position he’s in, where he’s asked to do a lot, play a lot, and kind of grow on the fly like that.”

Nash also said he thinks Canadian basketball is entering a new golden era, a well-timed Belle Epoque considering he’s taken over the reigns as Canada’s men’s team’s general manager.

Nash said he keeps in pretty constant contact with all of the national team’s young stars.

“It’s such an amazing place we’re in, as a country in the sport,” Nash said. “So much young talent, and more to come. They’re all doing so well, and most importantly the great majority – if not every one of them – is getting better.

“That’s exciting to see, is that guys, whether you can see it in public yet or not, are improving.”

Nash, who played his college ball at Santa Clara, will miss the entire 2014-15 season after suffering a potentially career-ending back injury last October. Nash is 41 – the legacy he’s left is cemented and bronzed. But Wiggins, at half his age, is the north’s future.

Yesterday was Wiggins’s 20th birthday, which he spent guarding James Harden. It went well.

The Wolves lost, but Wiggins led the way in vain with 30 points and six rebounds, another stellar performance in a freshman year where he’s averaged 15.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and almost 35 minutes a night through 55 games played.

“I would have thought it would be very fair of him to make a ton of mistakes (in his first season), for it to be really awkward, and he’s just been incredible,” Nash said. “Definitely a testament to his ability.”

Success of any kind this year would have shut up the kid’s doubters – after he was drafted first overall, the Cleveland Cavaliers shipped him and fellow Canuck Anthony Bennett to Minnesota for Kevin Love. No love there, reportedly at the request of the Cavs’ loved-again LeBron James, who transferred back to Ohio from Miami last summer.

And Wiggins had been knocked by scouts and analysts, who believed ‘the jumper was suspect’. That sort of became a conventional fact dogging Wiggins, that he couldn’t shoot from the floor and was more of an athlete than he was an NBA regular.

But to-date, Wiggins hasn’t just been satisfactory – he’s proven himself worthy of the No. 1 overall pick.

And his jumper’s just fine.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents welcomed to The Summit in Victoria’s Quadra Village

Modern 320-bed facility designed for people with complex care needs including dementia

Victoria considers extending free transit passes for youth

Motion for extension of funding comes to council July 16

West Shore RCMP responds after reports of man masturbating on bus

52-year-old man charged with committing an indecent act in a public place

Saanich bans municipal rodenticide use after owl deaths

District unanimously approves ban and community education

Police respond to successful Facebook scam on Oak Bay resident

Petty thievery in King George Terrace where plants, gargoyle are missing

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read