Karl-Anthony Towns RumorsAll NBA Players
Flash forward a year and there’s a completely different feeling between the franchise and its centerpiece. New President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas has made it clear at every turn that the priority is building around Towns. New coach Ryan Saunders has a close relationship with Towns and is fashioning the offense to take full advantage of his varied skill set. How different does it feel? “I’m here. That’s the answer. That’s the best answer I can give you,” Towns said. “I’m here. I’m actually in Minnesota. You can write about that what you want.”
“The biggest thing when you have that conversation [about a star switching teams] is you say, ‘Is he happy here?’” Towns said. “I’m tremendously happy. I love my front office. I love my coaching staff. I think we’ve made great moves and great changes. I love the culture we have here. If you want to leave, you have to be miserable somewhere. I am not there. I’m planning to be in Minnesota for a long time.”
Towns and his friend Chucky Anthony are building a following through their YouTube channel as well, and he hangs out with superstars like Travis Scott. “I thought when you were in Minnesota, you would have less opportunities. I’ve seemed to have only grown with my opportunities,” Towns said. “The idea of it being because of my market or where I’m at is a false narrative that’s written by people who want to keep big cities’ talent pool larger than others. It’s just not true. “We’re in a digital age. Talent is talent wherever you are. We find it through social media and the markets and the companies know who they want to work with. It doesn’t matter where.”
“I think I’ve been held back to 40 percent of my talent,” Towns said. “It’s going to be fun to be able to tap into a little more with Ryan Saunders at the helm. I’m going to have a lot of fun being able to play more freely and be able to do things I’ve been doing my whole life that I’ve been held back from doing in the NBA so far.” What has held him back? “Situational things,” he said.
Through Butler’s exit, Thibodeau’s firing and all of the drama in between, Towns never engaged in the mess. In a league that has become as much about the off-court hijinks as it is the on-court results, he has worked hard to steer clear of it. “I go out there to do my job and do it better than everybody in this league. That’s what my focus is,” Towns said. “I’m not here to be a show.”
It doesn’t mean that will happen overnight. While the rest of the West loaded up this summer, the Wolves can only count Culver as a marquee addition. But just as the urgency seems to be ramping up, Towns is preaching patience. “We all can’t rush in and think we’re going to win 75 games right now,” he said. “We have to take it day by day. We have to be patient with the process and accept the process and go through the cycles. I think we’re going to have a really good team and we have to go out there every single night and try to accomplish it. My job as a leader, I’ve got to get the best out of every single player.”
While clearly referencing the Tom Thibodeau lead Timberwolves, Towns talked about how he felt it held back the development of the players. “And that’s a disrespect and a slap in the face to their development, you know, and I want to make sure that they develop not only as players, but as human beings and as men. And, uh, you know, that’s what we’re here to do. And in Minnesota, the thing, one of the biggest things where Ryan and with me is like, we have to make sure our culture is not based on just basketball. This is a family atmosphere. Everything we do here in Minnesota has to be able to have a family. A family backing and a family thought process. And building people’s personalities, characters and showing them more of themselves. And you’re more than basketball.”