MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Timberwolves held media day on Monday at Target Center, with their first preseason game at the Miami Heat less than two weeks away.
Karl-Anthony Towns was not available due to a no-COVID-19 illness. Rudy Gobert is back in Minneapolis after being overseas playing in FIBA World Cup qualifying. Anthony Edwards took the spotlight, after his controversial comments about two weeks ago that included homophobic and racial slurs got a $40,000 fine by the NBA.
Edwards apologized multiple times to fans and media while speaking on Monday. In a video post to his Instagram story that was quickly deleted, Edwards takes video of a group of men assuming their sexual preference, then says, "Man look what the world done came to, bruh." In the video, he says both a homophobic and racial slur.
"Man, I respect everybody. I know what I posted was immature and I’m sorry for that if I hurt anyone. I’m working with the team and I’m sorry to all the Minnesota fans. I’m sorry for what I said and my actions. I’m working to be better," Edwards said.
Edwards, who has 1.2 million followers on Instagram, says he’s working to make things right both with the organization and the Timberwolves’ fan base. That includes putting a stop to that language in the locker room, and being open to having a gay teammate.
"I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it right, show everybody that I come with respect. That’s not who I am, I’m willing to take it as far as I need to," Edwards said. "It just makes me think before I do anything now. I learned that you have to think before you speak and things can be taken away in a blink. Words hurt people and I just gotta be better."
Edwards quickly became a fan-favorite after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Timberwolves two years ago out of Georgia. Edwards started 72 games last season and averaged 21.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, becoming a complementary star to Towns.
The Timberwolves will have their first training camp practice on Tuesday. They’re coming off a 46-36 season, making the Western Conference Playoffs for just the second time since 2004 and trading for All-NBA center Rudy Gobert.
On the basketball court, there is plenty to be excited about with the Timberwolves this year. The roster is centered around Towns, Edwards, Gobert and D'Angelo Russell. They've also added key depth pieces in Eric Paschall, Kyle Anderson, Austin Rivers and Bryn Forbes while they also return talents like Jaden McDaniels, Taurean Prince, Jordan McLaughlin, Jaylen Nowell and Naz Reid.
It's the job of Chris Finch in his second full season as head coach, and Tim Connelly in the front office, to put all the pieces together.
"I mean when you look at the roster and the talent we have as a group, it's pretty incredible," Gobert said. "I'm lucky to be surround by a group of guys that I think can accomplish anything."