Andrew Wiggins isn’t about to blame himself for his failed time in Minnesota, Aaron Rodgers appears headed for a breakup with the Green Bay Packers and Major League Baseball continues to get it wrong. Let’s examine each of these topics.
- Item: Andrew Wiggins, who was traded to Golden State last season in the deal that brought D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota, had this to say about his former team after the Warriors’ 130-108 victory over the Wolves on Monday night: “For sure it’s different (in Golden State) because everything here is organized. You know what you’re doing every night, you know what you’re getting yourself into, you know the minutes you’re going to play, you know your rotation. There was a couple years like that in Minnesota where you know everything. I was with Coach Thibs [Tom Thibodeau]. Thibs was very organized. And Thibs was very clear. He was very straightforward.”
- Reaction: Wiggins, who had 23 points and six rebounds against the Wolves, has been a nice fit with the Warriors because no one expects him to be a star player. He’s in the supporting cast. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, Wiggins was acquired from Cleveland in the Kevin Love trade with the feeling that he could help change the direction of the Wolves franchise. He never came close and didn’t seem to care all that much. While the Wolves deserve plenty of heat for years of ineptitude, Wiggins fails to realize (or acknowledge) what a bust he was in Minnesota. What Wiggins should have said is something like this: I never achieved what I should have and that’s on me. The reality is I’m getting max money to be a role player on a team that has Steph Curry running the show. There is little pressure on me, and I’m happy to collect my check and not have to shoulder expectations. That would have been the truth. Instead, Wiggins appears to take a shot at the late Flip Saunders, Flip’s son and current coach Ryan Saunders and Gersson Rosas, the Wolves’ president of basketball operations. It appears Wiggins tried to stick it to the Wolves a bit more by crediting Thibodeau. Say this for Wiggy, he was never a get-it guy.
- Item: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants a new contract, according to Pro Football Talk. The report surfaced after the Packers lost to Tampa Bay in the NFC title game on Sunday and Rodgers talked about the uncertainty of his future with the franchise.
- Reaction: Let’s see: The Packers draft Rodgers’ eventual replacement, Jordan Love, in the first round last April instead of getting their star quarterback a wide receiver. Rodgers puts together an MVP-type season and it’s capped by coach Matt LaFleur electing to kick a field goal instead of putting the ball in Rodgers’ hands late in the fourth quarter with the Packers down by eight and at the Bucs’ 8-yard line. Rodgers, 37, then questions what the future holds for him and now apparently wants a contract that will provide more money and security into the future. Add it all up and it appears at some point soon the Packers and Rodgers are headed for a D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Rodgers has three seasons left on his current contract and getting out from underneath that deal will become easier after 2021 for salary-cap reasons. While reworking Rodgers’ contract might make sense, the Packers also likely are looking at what’s next. The day they drafted Love, they started the clock on the end of Rodgers’ time in Green Bay. All of this is good news for Vikings fans who should be looking forward to the end of the Packers’ run of Hall of Fame quarterbacks — Brett Favre (1992-2007) into Rodgers (2008 to present). Unless Love also plays like a guy who belongs in Canton, Green Bay stands to become a very ordinary franchise once the guy under center is no longer dynamic.
- Item: The MLB Players Association reportedly rejected a proposal that would have installed the universal designated hitter for 2021 in exchange for an expanded postseason and additional money.
- Reaction: Spring training is supposed to start in February and, in case you haven’t checked, that’s only six days away. Yet, MLB still doesn’t have a clear idea on key rules and a postseason format for the coming season and it appears that an agreement is going to be reached only after the owners and players spend more time fighting over who gets what. In other words, nobody cares about the health of the sport itself. Here’s the best part (and by best, we mean worst): The current CBA — the one that keeps getting tinkered with because of the pandemic — is set to expire on Dec. 1, 2021. Considering how slowly these sides operate, and the amount of acrimony between them, one has to believe we’re in for a long strike or lockout next season. Not exactly a great look for a sport that already has other issues that need to be addressed. If Rob Manfred’s goal is to make sure he alienates baseball’s fan base, he’s doing a great job.