It is well-documented that football was Edwards’ first love, so much so that it was misconstrued before the draft to mean that he didn’t love basketball as much as a No. 1 overall pick should. That has been disproven all season long by the joy with which Edwards plays, but his eyes still lit up on Saturday night when the subject came up. “I (would) probably be like a Kam Chancellor, but I wouldn’t be that much hard of a hitter though,” Edwards said, referring to the safety who was a member of the Seattle Seahawks’ famed “Legion of Boom” secondary. “I wouldn’t be too much of the boom part.”
Edwards has always said he gets his edge from his football days, and the Timberwolves’ future may hinge on his ability to carry that mentality on to the court. He spoke on Saturday night about playing pick-up while he was in high school against Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill, and Edwards marveled at how Hill’s footwork and sheer strength make him so difficult to attack. “The field transfers to the court. The court don’t (transfer to the field),” Edwards said. “If you go take a football player, like a running back, somebody with great footwork, right? And you put him on defense, it’s very hard to score on them and I will tell you that. It’s very hard.”
Former Timberwolves big man Reggie Slater used to work tirelessly with his two oldest sons, teaching them the finer points of basketball. He conducted all sorts of drills, including being able to shoot layups and dribble with both hands. So much for that. “As soon as I’d finish with the drills, they’d go right inside and watch football,” Slater said. Slater’s oldest son, R.J. Slater, now 24, ended up playing on the offensive line at Air Force, finishing up in 2018. And his middle son, Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater, 22, is a shoo-in first-round selection in the NFL’s April 29-May 1 draft.
A number of analysts project Rashawn to be taken with the No. 14 pick by the Vikings. If so, he would follow his father as a professional player in Minnesota. “Whatever team he goes to, he’s fortunate,” Reggie said. “I tell him he’s got to put in the work 100 percent every day.” That’s what the 6-foot-6 Reggie Slater did to last eight seasons in the NBA as an undersized post player who was undrafted in 1992 out of Wyoming. After two years playing overseas, he played in the NBA from 1994-99 and 2000-03 with seven different teams. He averaged 5.6 points and 3.0 rebounds for his career.
Reggie hasn’t been back to the Twin Cities since shortly after being released by Timberwolves on Jan. 6, 2003, which ended his NBA career. But he said he “enjoyed my time in Minnesota,” and he gives some credit to then-members of the Timberwolves ownership group for helping him get a start in the business world. His company, the Slater Group, owns eight oil-change businesses in the Houston area, known as Auto Service Express and Kwik Kar. He also owned the gym Slaters Sports Zone during much of the past decade before selling it.
NFL, NBA, and MLB fans aged 18-34 said that they prefer watching highlights to full games, especially when compared to other demographics. Take the NFL, for example. Among football fans, 48 percent of 18-34 year-old NFL fans said they preferred clips to actual games, while only 20 percent of 35-49-year-olds said the same, and only 11 percent of fans over 50 agreed. There isn’t as much disparity in the other sports, especially when it comes to the NBA, where even 40 percent of 50+ hoops fans say they’d rather watch highlights than the full game.
New England Patriots star Julian Edelman, who is Jewish, published an open letter to Miami Heat player Meyers Leonard after the NBA center was recorded using an anti-Semitic slur while hosting a video game stream this week.