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Sam Mitchell on Andrew Wiggins weightlifting report: ‘Absolutely false’

Andrew Wiggins, Tarik Black

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins, right, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers center Tarik Black defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 119-115. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Remember that report Andrew Wiggins was skipping weightlifting sessions – preventing the Timberwolves from starting him at small forward and, therefore, Zach LaVine (at the shooting guard spot occupied by Wiggins)?

Minnesota coach Sam Mitchell, via SiriusXM NBA Radio:

That’s absolutely false. Absolutely false, man.

First of all, my strength-and-conditioning coaches know I am anal about our guys getting in the weight room, because our guys have to get stronger and develop physically.

And Andrew has done an outstanding job this year getting in the weight room. And what people don’t understand, he’s actually gained about five pounds of muscle this year.

The initial report never seemed that believable. Wiggins looks plenty strong for his age, getting to the free-throw line and defending post-ups excellently.

But I was surprised the Timberwolves waited so long to deny this on the record, at least as far as I saw. The only denials I saw were anonymous, and that was strange. Why not attach your name to supporting a very important coworker?

Anyway, this is a forceful denial from Mitchell, one I was inclined to believe in the first place. Mitchell’s conviction only convinces me further Wiggins is training appropriately.

And even if he’s not – again, I believe he is – Wiggins must be doing something right to have his coach so strongly back him.