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ATLANTA – The Sunday Funday gathering at Irby's Tavern had its attention on the Braves, as evidenced by the vast majority of the twenty-some TV sets tuned to the team's "Sunday Night Baseball'' appearance against the New York Mets, complete with game audio. .

A few of those TVs flipped over to TNT shortly before tipoff of Game 4 of the Timberwolves and Nuggets series at Target Center. With it came a few basketball fans — some just looking for a playoff game but others eager to watch the ascending star from Atlanta, Anthony Edwards.

"They've got a great shot at winning it all this season," Guy Nardulli, a Chicago native and Los Angeles resident said of the Timberwolves before quickly turning his thoughts to Edwards. "I'll say it like this: Michael Jordan is the GOAT — greatest of all time. This kid's got a shot. He's super talented, and you can't guard him."

Edwards, 22, grew up in the Oakland City section of South Atlanta and caught rides sometimes lasting an hour through traffic to reach Holy Spirit Preparatory School on the city's north side. From there, he played one year at the University of Georgia before being selected No. 1 overall by the Wolves in the 2020 NBA draft.

Now in his fourth NBA season, Edwards scored nine points in the game's first 4:03 as the Wolves took a 15-9 lead Sunday.

About that time, Da-Shon Dixon took a seat at the bar and immediately focused his attention on Edwards. Dixon, a Savannah, Ga., native, attended law school at Georgia while Edwards was averaging 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists as a Bulldogs freshman.

"I guess I first noticed him in his last year of high school because he was going to UGA and was the No. 1 high school player in the country," Dixon said. "Obviously, he's a phenomenal basketball player, but his personality just shines. … If you ask me, he's the next up. He's the heir apparent to LeBron James."

Guy Nardulli, who calls Anthony Edwards “baby Jordan”, keeps an eye on game 4 of the Timberwolves against the Nuggets at Irby’s Tavern  in Buckhead, Ga. on Sunday.
Guy Nardulli, who calls Anthony Edwards “baby Jordan”, keeps an eye on game 4 of the Timberwolves against the Nuggets at Irby’s Tavern in Buckhead, Ga. on Sunday.

Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

The Nuggets stretched their lead to 15 points in the second before Edwards sank a couple of three-pointers in his 12-point quarter..

The Wolves/Edwards rooters were discouraged, but hope returned when Edwards scored 14 third-quarter points, helping cut the Denver lead to 11 points with 12 minutes to play.

"They've still got a chance,'' Dixon said.

Those watching the Braves game came away disappointed when the Mets won 4-3 on a walk-off home run. They soon turned their attention to the NBA game and saw the Wolves slowly chip away, closing to 111-104 with 1:49 left in the fourth quarter on Edwards' reverse layup.

He added a free throw to finish with a career postseason-high 44 points, but the Nuggets had the answer — a pair of Nikola Jokic baskets that set the final score at 115-107 and evened the series at two games apiece.

Afterward, Irby's patrons paid their checks and tipped their caps to Edwards, who didn't will his team to win but buttressed the argument that he's among the NBA's best.