Anthony Edwards misses opening tip in Timberwolves’ win over Portland, but why?

Anthony Edwards #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on November 26, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) ((Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images))

The Minnesota Timberwolves were set to tip off against the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night at Target Center, but there was one problem: Anthony Edwards was nowhere to be found.

It’s not uncommon for Edwards to not be on the floor during the National Anthem or pregame introductions. His personal preparation sometimes goes right up to tip off. But with the game set to start, Edwards was not on the floor. Chris Finch was forced to put Nickeil Alexander-Walker in for Edwards, and the Timberwolves were assessed a delay of game warning.

So what happened? The short answer is nobody knows. Edwards was in the locker room after a 119-114 win for the Timberwolves, but did not speak to reporters. He was asked in passing about not being on the floor to start the game, and said he lost track of time.

Finch was perplexed when asked about it at his post game news conference. He sounded like an office manager upset at an employee for being late to a meeting.

"I don’t know what that was. You’ll have to ask him," Finch said.

It was Edwards’ first missed start of the season not due to injury. They could laugh about it after the win, he even joked he was trying to take Sixth Man of the Year from Naz Reid. Karl-Anthony Towns, standing near center court just before tip, laughed at Edwards as he sat at the scorer’s table ready to check in with a "What are you doing?" expression.

Edwards finished with 13 points, four rebounds and six assists. He’s been a busy man lately, missing the second half of Friday’s loss to Sacramento for personal reasons. He and his girlfriend welcomed a baby into their family.