Kevin Garnett Issues Stern Warning to Timberwolves Regarding Anthony Edwards

Garnett reflects on rigorous Olympic schedule, advises caution.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Kevin Garnett Issues Stern Warning to Timberwolves Regarding Anthony Edwards
© David Berding/Getty Images

Minnesota Timberwolves icon Kevin Garnett has issued a pointed caution to the franchise's management regarding the budding star Anthony Edwards, emphasizing the need for strategic handling of his off-season. Speaking on the "All The Smoke" podcast, Garnett highlighted his enthusiasm for the team’s future, especially after a commendable performance in the Western Conference finals.

However, he stressed the importance of resting Edwards during the off-season to maintain his performance for the forthcoming NBA season. Garnett's concern arises from Edwards’ inclusion in the Team USA squad for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris.

He urged the Timberwolves' ownership to ensure that Edwards isn't overutilized during the games. "To Minnesota’s ownership: Make sure in these Olympics that these Olympic coaches do not overplay Anthony Edwards. There will be a lot of those little games that people don’t really talk about,” Garnett stated.

Kevin Garnett's Olympic Caution

Reflecting on his own experience in the 2000 Olympics, Garnett recalled being heavily relied upon, a situation he believes should be avoided for Edwards. "You get in the Olympics, it’s supposed to be this 12-man roster of superstars, but I’m playing the bulk of the minutes.

40 minutes, I’m playing 36 minutes," he explained. This led to then-Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders intervening to remind Team USA of the need to balance player usage with their NBA commitments. Despite not being the marquee player on a star-studded Team USA, featuring LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Joel Embiid, Edwards’ potential role cannot be underestimated.

Following his standout performance at last year's FIBA World Cup with a younger squad, Team USA coach Steve Kerr has hinted at a significant role for Edwards in the Olympics. Having played a career-high 79 regular season games and an additional 16 in the playoffs, the extensive playing time has already marked this year as the most demanding of Edwards' young career.

Garnett's advice comes from a place of concern, hoping to avoid any potential burnout and ensure Edwards' readiness for another grueling NBA season. This cautionary stance underscores the delicate balance teams must manage between international duties and player welfare.