Karl-Anthony Towns Rumors

All NBA Players

On a night when teammate Karl-Anthony Towns played 48 minutes in a 118-112 overtime loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday and Jimmy Butler 45½ minutes, the Timberwolves veteran guard offered a suggestion when asked if fatigue was a factor after his team led by nine points with six minutes left to play and still lost. “We need to get in better shape if we’re tired,” he said. “Do whatever it takes for this team, for this organization to win. If you’re tired, run some extra laps after practice.”
Towns: I’ve been shooting 3s my whole career, actually. It’s funny, ’cause I went to Kentucky, and it was something that they were talking about — either having me shoot or not shoot at all. And [John Calipari] wanted me to take the other route and not shoot at all, and [he] just kind of hid it in his back pocket. … But you know, I was in New Jersey — I was one of the state leaders in 3-pointers made, and I’ve been shooting the rock for a long time. And I went to college and took a year off [from shooting], and when I came in the league, I went back to being the player I usually am, which is trying to be as versatile as possible. I was able to shoot more and really have my game open up. …
Towns: Obviously initially, when you’re trying to learn something super complicated — especially a defensive scheme as complicated as Thibs’s — it takes time, because I was already a rookie, and now it’s only my second year. Think about it — I had no stability in those four years leading up: high school I had a coach; college I had a coach, left in one year; and then my first year [in the NBA I] tragically lost Flip [Saunders and then played under] Sam Mitchell; and now this year I’m with Coach Thibodeau. So, I’ve never really had a true defensive scheme to stick with. I’ve always been adjusting on the fly.
Towns: When [Thibodeau] first came in, I just really wanted to learn. I took some extra time with him, started early … and now I understand the system much better. … It’s been amazing, because even with Jimmy [Butler], Taj [Gibson], Aaron Brooks — guys who’ve played for Thibs for a much longer period of time — they understand the schemes, so it’s always great to ask them questions and to be able to play off of them. And times when I mess up on defense, they’re able to help me out because they understand where they need to be in the scheme. … And when you have somebody who’s that passionate about winning, who loves the game that much, and who’s willing to give all his time to have us as prepared as possible, that makes our culture better. It makes us feel better knowing that whenever we step onto the court, we feel we’re the most prepared team in the NBA.