Potential No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards on watching basketball: ‘I’m still not really into it’

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Anthony Edwards is likely going to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. That’s not a lock, it’s an uncertain draft and the team with that pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves, are open to trading it. But a consensus seems to be forming around the league Edwards will go first.

Which is why his comments in an interview with ESPN’s Alex Scarborough raised some eyebrows. Edwards was asked about watching basketball when he’s not playing.

“I’m still not really into it. I love basketball… basketball is my heart, but football is where I started, so I’ll never forget about that. But don’t get me wrong, basketball is my No. 1 because I feel like it’s going to get me through a lot of the stuff I need to get through…

“It’s what I do. It’s a job. I feel like I’m working right now. I love it.”

Edward’s trainer was quick to clarify that Edwards loves playing basketball, he just prefers watching football.

The timing of this comment was a little awkward, but there’s nothing wrong with this, as long as Anthony Edwards is putting in the work on his game — and you can be sure part of that is watching film with NBA coaches in Minnesota (or wherever he is drafted). It’s okay to love another sport.

As fans, we tend to fetishize players with a Kobe-like obsession for the game. We want them always to be playing or working out or watching film, even though that kind of single-mindedness is not something we want in our own lives. That’s not just a sports thing, as a society we put on a pedestal people to obsess over one thing. It’s why we watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi and admire Jiro even though we see the cost his single-minded focus had on his family and other aspects of his life.

Edwards wanting to watch football is all good — we all like watching football. And soccer. And golf. And hockey. And on down the list. The NBA is a job, and as long as Edwards puts in all the needed work on that job, he can spend his free time playing Call of Duty and watching whatever sport he wants.