The Timberwolves may have a problem with their franchise cornerstone, as Karl-Anthony Towns erupted after the team’s 13th straight defeat last night, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Towns displayed minimal interest and effort throughout the home loss to the Hawks, Krawczynski adds, then spoke about his frustration after the game.
“I’ve been losing for a long time,” Towns said. “I’m not trying to do that (expletive) anymore. So every possession means a lot. You obviously see my patience running low with a lot of things. There’s no excuses. We gotta get it done.”
Towns’ personal losing streak is even longer, as he missed a month with a knee injury and subsequent illness and hasn’t been part of a victory since November 27. He also watched his best friend on the team, Robert Covington, get shipped to Houston this week in a four-team trade.
Towns posted 21 points and 11 rebounds last night, but his disengagement was obvious, Krawczynski observes, adding that there were several fourth-quarter possessions when he didn’t cross half court. Towns also wasn’t aggressive on offense, even though he had a size advantage over defenders Damian Jones and John Collins.
Krawczynski speculates that Towns may have been registering his displeasure with the Covington trade. After news of the deal broke late Tuesday night, Towns texted some of the team’s younger players to tell them they were getting a lessons in the business side of the NBA.
“I hope this is a great learning experience for them because this is what it is,” Towns said. “You could be very close and you could be with someone you cherish a lot and they could be gone the next day, not only in basketball but in life. I hope this a lesson and reminder for them.”
There were reports last month that the Knicks and Warriors were monitoring the situation in Minnesota to see if Towns might become available, but Wolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas responded by calling the 24-year-old center “as untouchable as they come.” While nothing is expected to happen before today’s deadline, it’s a story to watch, especially if the losing in Minnesota continues.