T’Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett meet Canada’s Prime Minister (pic)
Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett are not only teammates on the Minnesota Timberwolves, they also are two most recent No. 1 overall picks in the NBA Draft. What’s more, both are natives of the great city of Toronto and returned to play in their hometown together for the first time in their young NBA careers.
The T’Wolves’ visit on Wednesday to Toronto to take on the Raptors also coincided — not coincidentally, presumably — with Canadian Basketball Night, a celebration of basketball’s burgeoning popularity in the country.
Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister was in attendance at Air Canada Centre for the game to take part in the festivities, and took a moment before the game for a photo-op with the two native sons, tweeting evidence of the meet-and-greet.
Pleased to meet Cda's top basketball talent @22wiggins & @AnthonyBennett before @CanBball Night. pic.twitter.com/4oC2d9hBUs
— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) March 18, 2015
Unfortunately for Harper, he — or likely a member of his staff — erred in an original tweet accompanying the photograph, identifying Bennett as Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.
The post was later deleted and replaced with the tweet correctly identifying both players.
All that aside, Wiggins received a hero’s welcome from his faithful hometown fans. A near-lock for Rookie of the Year, the 20-year-old said it was quite a thrill to both meet his country’s prime minister and play in his hometown as a pro for the first time.
“It has been a great time for me, from the time I landed,” Wiggins said, via the Star Tribune. “I felt welcomed. This is home for me. I always love playing in Toronto, I always love playing where I’m from. I had a good time even though we didn’t win the game. I still feel appreciated and had fun …
“Even seeing the prime minister, a lot of people can’t say they met the prime minister. In the USA, it’s like you met the president, basically.”
Regarding the game, Wiggins had a decent game — Bennett did not play in his Toronto homecoming due to injury — but it wasn’t enough as the undermanned T’Wolves dropped their 53rd game in 67 tries, losing 105-100 to the Raptors.
Despite the disappointing season marred by mounting losses, Wiggins has enjoyed his time with the Timberwolves so far, even if Raptors fans desperately would love for him to play in Toronto one day.
“I love Minnesota,” Wiggins said. “They treat me nice up there. I plan to be there a very, very, very long time.”