Karl-Anthony Towns Talks Changes In Minnesota, False Narratives Off The Court

The NBA has seen its share of power moves by players. Kawhi Leonard joined the Clippers this offseason while angling for the Paul George trade. Anthony Davis, who shares an agent with LeBron James, demanded a trade with eyes for the Lakers and Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving reportedly began their planning to team up long ago.

Many have speculated that Karl Anthony-Towns could the next player in a small market to leverage his way to a new destination. Towns hears the noise and isn’t swayed by the glamour of a bigger city.

“Game is game. Basketball is basketball,” Towns said (via Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic). “Competition is competition. It don’t matter where you at,” Towns said. “All of us were raised, regardless of where we’re at, playing in the park, playing in hot box rec gyms. You were competing. It don’t matter if you’re in Milwaukee, in Minnesota. It doesn’t matter if you’re in L.A. or New York, competition is competition. You have to come ready to play and kick some ass.

“That’s how I approach it. I’m not afraid to play anywhere. I don’t care about where it’s at, who it’s against. I’m going to go out there and compete and try my best.”

New president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas has made it clear that the team is building around Towns as its star. Coach Ryan Saunders, who served in an interim capacity last season, has a close relationship with the center and that was part of the reason Saunders was awarded the full-time job.

“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.”

A year ago, Tom Thibodeau was still running the show in Minnesota. Towns was entering the final season of his rookie deal and Jimmy Butler was seen by some as the leader of the franchise. Towns had his concerns about the franchise then, Krawczynski writes. He steered clear of the off-court turmoil surrounding Butler and Thibodeau, instead, focusing on the game.

“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.”

Towns is entering the first season of five-year, $190MM max deal. He missed out on roughly $32MM by not making an All-NBA team this past season, though he doesn’t dwell on last year’s results.

“It’s a great thing for me because I laugh about it,” Towns said. “When you’re doing something so well for so long, it gets boring. I guess I’m a boring guy now…It’s never been about the individual awards. It’s about the team success. I’ve got to do better of getting my team in a better position to win. Obviously, it’s going to be fun this year to have the kind of group I have.”

While it may seem like the endorsements and other financial opportunities are heavily concentrated in bigger markets, Towns is doing just fine, as his agency (CAA) has helped him with off-court exposure. In addition to endorsements, Towns has been in movies and on television shows. He has a YouTube Channel as well.

“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.”

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40 thoughts on “Karl-Anthony Towns Talks Changes In Minnesota, False Narratives Off The Court

  1. acarneglia

    The thing the Wolves have going for them is KAT isn’t an LA guy like Kawhi or PG13, he’s a small town Piscataway NJ guy.

    • jkoms57

      Serious question tho, is he a rainbow ?

      Might want to see those LA hotdogs.

  2. Z-A

    Sorry… but KAT is going to live that KG life sans playoff run. Wolves gave money to the wrong folks. Didn’t make the right guy happy. Any player is tradeable. Just think… KAT-Butler pairing ruined by some Instagram chick (polite way to put it)

    • adlund09

      Yep, because Butler made the Bulls a championship team… the 76ers a championship team… oh wait. Butler went where he can be the show and paid the most, and will, again, not win any championships

      • Z-A

        KAT-Butler vs KAT-Wiggins?

        Sixers from what I understand did not offer him a 5 yr max or even a 4 yr max. They clearly had a different plan and got a younger piece to replace the lack of defense JJ had. And replaced Jimmy with Horford.

        Again, the Wolves are overpaying Wiggins, Dieng, Teague.

        They cant improve outside of trade. This year and next year their cap situation is shot. 3yrs and they till have 92M committed.

        • jkoms57

          Paying Dieng made no sense.

          Teague made sense at the time but didn’t work out.

          Problem is, it’s hard to attract free agents to the wolves .. sometimes those orgs overreact and keep everyone.

          Just sad to see an org try so hard to compete and come up empty.

  3. KnicksFanCavsFan

    Towns is the best ALL AROUND center in the modern game and it really isn’t close. The NBA has become a league where players only want to play for a handful of teams. They are soooo concerned with their brand. They are scared sh*tless about ending their careers without any chips and that their careers won’t be as valued as those without (Duncan vs Malone).

    Towns is a far better shooter than AD or Embid and still ranks top 10 in most of the meaningful defensive metric aside from Defensive Box +/-. Embid and AD get lauded over because they can shoot the 3 at a high rate, for a center. KAT has a career 39% 3pt rate and shot 40% last year. AD and Embid haven’t shot over 37% 3pt yet in their still brief careers and between the two, Embid is the only one to shoot over 34% and he’s only done that once.

    It’s a travesty that he wasn’t voted on to the all-nba team last year.

    • specialfriedrice

      I agree, the current voting system is not just flawed but it is blatantly corrupt

      The media completely controls the NBA Awards and All NBA Teams…which in hand then controls a players potential wage…

    • I give no fox

      KAT may put up numbers, but he can’t hold Embiid’s jock. Head-to-head, KAT disappears. I didn’t bother to look up AD vs KAT matchup, but I’m sure AD took him to the woodshed. KAT is a hell of a player, but if you watched him play vs Embiid you wouldn’t even question who the better player is.

      • JD396

        Great argumentation, those facts didn’t bother to look up really did it for me

    • IslandFlava

      Totally agree with KFCF, KAT had a historic season he was a total beast & clearly deserving of an All-NBA place… He will make a worthy MVP one day. IMO he is a top 6-7 player right now in the league.

    • Jason Lancaster

      He’sa great player for sure… But he’s also only producing big stats on bad teams. Highly productive guys on bad teams never get much love, because they usually aren’t as productive when they move to a better team.

      I’m not saying towns isn’t good. He clearly is. But I think all NBA voters are wary of him for good reason. Until he finds a way to be on a winning team, he’s going to struggle to get recognition.

    • Richard Hangslow

      You’ve can’t be serious, KAT is no where close to AD, Embid, Jokic, even a health Cousins

      • KnicksFanCavsFan


        KAT: 22/12/3 and 1.5 blocks on 53/39/84 shooting. Has missed 5 games his entire 4 year career.

        AD: 24/11/2 and 2 blocks on 52/31/83 shooting.
        Has missed 108 games in his 7 year career.

        Embiid: 24/11/2 and 2 blocks on 48/31/79 shooting.
        Has missed 252 games (including the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons) in his 5 year career and 37 games in his last 2 years.

        Yes, someone has to score on a bad team but he still has a better FG% than either so he’s not a volume shooter and actually averages fewer attempts per game than the other. BECAUSE he’s on a bad team with less talent it SHOULD be easier for them to mute his performance by double teaming him. Not saying that either AD or Embiid are playing with all-stars but they were definitely on better teams with more talent.

        AD and Embiid might be better at blocking shots and Embiid might be a slightly better defender but it’s not by much. Towns is the PERFECT center for today’s NBA game because he can play in and out.

        If the Laker’s had a choice of signing either of the 3 right now as if they were all FA I think they, and almost any GM would be hard pressed to NOT pick KAT. How many centers can shoot 3s anywhere near KAT’s 40% and still bang in the post and do all the other things a center should do? Add his durability into consideration and it’s not even close who the right choice should be. And he’s even younger than both by a 1 (Embiid) or 2 (AD).

        • IslandFlava

          Very good points KCFC! I do find annoying how people diminishes what guys do in bad teams… Is a lot harder to produce big numbers as you are the focus of the other team, in a better team they have to spread their attention.
          Harrison Barnes said it when he moved to Dallas, it was a lot easier to shoot & score in GSW than it was in a really bad Dallas!
          KAT is playing at a MVP level & for sure any team of the league would snatch him if they could, make no mistake!

    • x%sure

      I find Towns’ game to be low-impact and casual kind of meandering. He just shoots a lot. He’s tall enough and talened enough to make basketball a game of HORSE, but I don’t for the resulting look of the game.

  4. hiflew

    “Competition is competition. It don’t matter where you at,”

    I think that is a direct quote from Langston Hughes.

    I love basketball don’t get me wrong, but it really is sad that some people with the intelligence of a peach make millions while grad students that have worked hard all their lives struggle to pay their electric bills. I understand the economics of the situation and why it is what it is, it’s just sad to think about.

    • formerlyz

      Do you think they dont have any ability to speak grammatically correctly, or that they do it on purpose like all the other people with their fake Brooklyn accents for street cred

      • hiflew

        That’s a good point. I know there are some rappers out there that are highly intelligent, but put on the character of a street thug just so they can sell their work. People are more apt to buy music from a gun-toting gang member than a poet.

        Once again that’s just sad to think about

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          Please let’s not limit the use of poor grammar to rappers, and please understand that the way some people speak with people their familiar with can be the exact opposite to the way they speak to strangers or those they interact with in formal settings.

          I’ve been to West Virginia and Kentucky. Trust that the horrible version of English I was exposed too weren’t from posers or gangsta rappers.

      • hiflew

        No, but the appearance of intelligence is. Like it or not, if you speak like that, people will believe you are stupid. Whether it is true or not is immaterial. In the world we live in, it doesn’t matter what you are, it really only matters how the world perceives you. You could be the smartest guy in the world, but if you dress like a slob, people will remember the way you dressed, not the intelligence you put forth.

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          How one dresses isn’t a characteristic of one’s intelligence. Not even close and those that judge a book by it’s cover would be wise to remember that.

          You bump into Rick Rubin (google if needed) somewhere in lower Manhattan when he’s out and about and you might think he’s homeless or destitute because he wears sloppily put together clothing with an unkempt beard. You see him in the confines of Interscope or some other media headquarter and you immediately see him as a hippy cool guy who smokes weed, practices yoga and produces incredibly delightful cool and eclectic music.

      • I would say grammar varies directly with intelligence in a vast majority of cases.

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          Poor grammar and slang language can sometimes be one and the same. I might say to a friend “I’m gonna go to the store” but to my mom and someone I speak to with respect, I’d like say “I’m going to the store”. It’s casual language (slang). The difference is that in social media people are usually too informal for their own good because they are talking to an audience that have zero idea of who you are and your level of intelligence.

          One of my pet peeves tho is when someone uses a word like “da” instead of “the”. I’m like, my guy…unless you’re tweeting and need to save as many characters as possible, just use “the” . It’s literally one extra letter to type and it helps me to not think you’re a complete doofus (which is actually a word so auto-correct needs to catch up).

    • @ hiflew
      There are thousands of entertainers that make more than grad students, and that’s what basketball players are, entertainers. And a lot of entertainers make more than Towns. That’s just the way of the world that we live in.

      • hiflew

        “I understand the economics of the situation and why it is what it is, it’s just sad to think about.”

        Why are you explaining something that I already know?

      • KnicksFanCavsFan

        @xdrta I think the perception of a high-paid athlete is that they were born with it and relying off of the gifts alone. We don’t lament the salaries of successful comedians, singers or actors but athletes garner a lot of envy and hate. If you factor in the hours in the gym, the hours of practicing fundamental skills until it turns into muscle memory and the discipline of maintaining great physical status, then clearly athletes put in a ton of work. From birth up until they approach physical maturation where their body and/or skills show promise they are just like the rest of us.

        If the argument is “it’s a shame these guys make so much more money that cops, teachers, etc those who are supposed to contribute to the betterment of society” then i counter that with “why don’t we show the same sentiment towards stock brokers and hedge fund guys”? What’s their contribution to society other than the money they spend on luxury items and taxes. These athletes do the same.

    • Curtisrowe

      What you’re sad about is called “capitalism”. It has nothing to do with basketball.

    • x%sure

      If Towns is quoting somebody, then the grammar is bad intentionally, so if true, I think your point misses.

      He can and has spoken creatively and intelligently, but here, Towns has taken a defensive and even delusional tone.

      “I go out there to do my job and do it better than everybody in this league… “I’m not here to be a show.””

      That is wrong on several levels. Play some D, guy, and stop showing off.

      • IslandFlava

        KAT does play some D & more… but he ain’t paid the max for his D (BTW no one does) he is paid the max for his attacking prowess (as every other max guy) I just can’t suffer all this narrative that he doesn’t put effort, doesn’t play D… I watch most of his games & the guy is a beast both ends!

  5. formerlyz

    Big fan of Towns, but he has to care more about effort. Other things he has said this offseason looked really bad, and did nothing to stop the narrative that Towns and Wiggins dont care as much as they should. I’m not putting Towns in the same category as Wiggins, but he should care more about effort from his teammates, and his own growth defensively. He should be better on defense

    • KnicksFanCavsFan

      How do you know he doesn’t care? You can give something (playing great defense) a 110% effort and still not succeed at it. I honestly don’t remember hearing anyone call Towns a poor effort guy or someone who doesn’t care. I think that’s a narrative created from Butler that’s stuck. I studied my ass off to excel at calculus but I barely passed the class with a measly C average. I gave not af about Sociology yet would ace ever class I took.

      • formerlyz

        KAT has the talent to be an elite defender. As I said, I’m not putting him in the Woggins category, but he needs to care more. I was also speaking to something he said a few days ago on the radio where he pretty much talked about stuff besides basketball mattering. I know what he was trying to say, but it really wasnt a smart thing for him to say, considering the things surrounding him and specifically, his teammates

  6. dust44

    Love to c KAT in Portland with Lillard and let them light the league on fire. Both those dudes r non “super team” guys. And KAT won’t force his way out. But those 2 guys r soooo underrated as teammates and stars in the L because of the markets they play in.

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