Northwest Notes: Towns, Presti, LeBron, Jazz, Jokic

Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns staked his claim of being the greatest shooting big man ever by winning the three-point contest on Saturday, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes.

Towns defeated several guards and wings to win the contest, including Trae Young, Zach LaVine and Patty Mills. He’s averaging 24.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game this season, shooting 41% from three-point range. Prior to this season, he’s shot above 40% from deep in three of his six campaigns.

“I remember everyone told me to do the same way. ‘Have your back to the basket. Why is Karl shooting 3s? There’s no reason for him shooting 3s. We’re experts. We know better than you,'” Towns said. “Me and my dad said screw them. We’re going to do it our way.”

Here are some other notes from Northwest:

  • Thunder general manager Sam Presti recently received praise from LeBron James, who called him the MVP of Oklahoma City’s franchise, Dave McMenamin of writes. “The MVP over there is Sam Presti. He’s the MVP,” James said when asked about Josh Giddey and the Thunder. “I mean, Josh Giddey is great. But Sam Presti, I don’t understand this guy’s eye for talent. He drafted [Kevin Durant], Russ [Westbrook]Jeff GreenSerge IbakaReggie Jackson, Josh Giddey and the list goes on and on and on. This guy is pretty damn good.”
  • The Jazz will have many questions to answer after the All-Star break, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News writes. Utah is 36-22 on the season, dropping a 106-101 road game to the Lakers before the break. “Come back ready to go,” Donovan Mitchell said on what needs to happen. “We have no choice. It’s not like we can say anything else. We have no choice but to be ready.”
  • Mike Singer of The Denver Post explores the story of how Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic once hated a Denver assistant coach. Jokic and the coach, Ogi Stojakovic, are now great friends. “He’s like a big brother, like a mentor, father, he’s like a really good friend,” Jokic said of Stojakovic. “He’s really everything. … How much he helps me on the court, he helps me off the court just to get out of the basketball … We hang out, for real. When we have a day off, my family is always with his family.”
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