He’s a six-foot-eight savant who attacks like D-Wade, jumps like Dr. J, and closes like Kobe. Is all this “Canadian LeBron” hype legit? Andrew Corsello catches up with the temporary college student—he’ll be a Kansas Jayhawk for the next five minutes or so—and asks the kid himself.
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.”