College basketball player Andrew Wiggins of the Kansas Jayhawks is featured in the latest issue of GQ magazine. Wiggins is one of the nation’s top college and pro prospect. The Thornhill, Ontario-native is receiving as much hype as Lebron James was receiving back in 2003 when he first came into the league. Most likely Wiggins will enter the 2014 NBA Draft, be considered the favorite and selected the top pick. With much buzz surrounding the 18-year-old college basketball player, the endorsement market for him is getting bigger and could be bigger than it was for LeBron James when he was a rookie. Wiggins already has a $180 million Adidas shoe deal offer.
In his interview, Wiggins talked to GQ about being compared to LeBron James, respecting Kevin Durant’s game, keeping his teammates involved and making them better, not being a selfish player and much more. Below are some excerpts:
The problem with all the YouTube highlights is that they’re not quite good enough—technically, that is. Not enough pixels, frames, angles. Even in slo-mo, the first steps, the crossovers, the behind-the-backs, are so fast that it’s often impossible to figure out what the hell Andrew Wiggins is doing out there. It’s the speed, of course. (Hot genes: dad an NBA baller; mom still owns the Canadian record in the 200 meters.) But it’s also the silkiness. Big as he is, Wiggins almost never throws his 197-pound frame around. Unlike LeBron James, who weighed 240 pounds in high school, Wiggins is no monster; he’s a wraith. Which may be one of the reasons the kid from Toronto is loath to make the comparison.
“Aw, it’s not fair to even say my name in the same sentence as his,” says Wiggins during his first week of classes at Kansas. “I haven’t even played one game of college ball.” Is there another player who’s more comparable? “I like Kevin Durant’s game! Ain’t nothing he can’t do. Shoot. Has a handle. Plays D. Scores at will. Durant, man! Has that killer instinct.”
Interesting, that last bit. Some have seen Wiggins’s ability to shiver through defenders without touching them as an unwillingness to knock heads and stake his claim as The Man. “Anybody who has ever watched me knows that I get my teammates involved, that I make them better,” Wiggins responds. “I’m not too selfish or unselfish.”
Asked, after calling himself a “child of God,” if he ever wonders to his Creator, “Why me?” Wiggins gives a sheepish laugh, then says, “Nah.”
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Photos Credit: GQ | Robert Maxwell