By: Tim Parochka
We remember Michael Jordan's final shot with the Chicago Bulls. We watched LeBron James and the Cavaliers overcome a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Championship and defeat the greatest regular-season team ever.
However, what isn't as obvious is the hours on hours of work behind the cameras Michael Jordan and LeBron James had to endure to accomplish what they did. Hundreds of hours needed to be dedicated toward weight-lifting, shooting, ball-handling, post-play in order for Jordan to get past his rival, the bad boys' Detroit Pistons, and LeBron James to finally win an NBA championship.
The work isn't easy. It absolutely sucks. Hours of shooting in an empty gym and working like hell to become a better basketball player is extremely challenging and that's why players with tremendous talent fail to live up to their All-Star or Superstar potential.
Talented individuals who fail do not embrace the process of working to become a winner. But in order to win, you must love the hard-working process of becoming a winner.
The Minnesota Timberwolves' are either very fortunate or studied immensely because Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Zach LaVine enjoy the process of becoming a winner.
NBA players have a choice in the off-season. They can rest, work on their overall games enough to be a little bit better, and enter the new season or, they can take a few weeks off, work tirelessly getting countless repetitions in at the gym and come into training camp much improved.
Last season, if I asked you the question: "Who would you pick to start an NBA franchise, Andrew Wiggins or Karl-Anthony Towns" you would have chosen without a moments hesitation, Karl-Anthony Towns.
However, one year later and it's an honest debate. Most people may still take Karl-Anthony Towns but it's something you need to think about.
It's not that Karl-Anthony Towns has leveled out. Towns is much improved, but Wiggins is drastically better than he was in his previous two seasons.
Wiggins foot-work, balance on his jump-shot, ball-handling and overall awareness of when to shoot, where the double-team is coming from and whom to pass it to when the double-team arrives is completely enhanced. We all begged Andrew Wiggins to perform every game like he was facing the Cleveland Cavaliers and this season, Wiggins is answering the call.
Wiggins, Towns and LaVine have visions of themselves dominating the game and it's those visions that get them through the difficult and rugged days.
Hopefully, they all envision themselves together playing meaningful games in May and June.