Karl-Anthony Towns Believes He is NBA’s Real MVP

Photo: Bart Young - NBAE via Getty Images

The 2021-22 NBA season has been a banner one for big men across the league. Nobody’s questioning the worth of front court dominance for the first time in nearly a decade and it’s because of guys like Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. In the same season that the former (Towns) won the All-Star weekend 3-point contest, the two latter names (Jokic, Embiid) are battling for NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.

The Denver Post asked NBA big men around the league three basic questions, in an effort to find out who what they thought of Nikola Jokic and the MVP race between him and Embiid. No anonymity allowed.

  1. Who’s the tougher player to guard, Jokic or Embiid?
  2. What makes Nikola Jokic so tough to stop?
  3. Who’s the MVP?

KAT’s Real MVP

The front court players surveyed included Rudy Gobert, Wendell Carter Jr, Draymond Green, Domantas Sabonis and Karl-Anthony Towns, among others.

But it was KAT’s answer to question 3, which asked about the NBA’s MVP race, that I found interesting. If he were choosing the league’s most valuable player, neither Jokic or Embiid would be the winner. Instead, Towns said he would the award to himself.

“I’m gonna give it to myself because that’s who I feel is the MVP.”

KAT on his choice for NBA MVP (Denver Post)

The Numbers Say…

It doesn’t take that much research before you realize that Karl-Anthony Towns is wrong. The stats just don’t agree with his assertion, no matter where you look. And the deeper you go, it becomes easier and easier to hand the MVP Award to Nikola Jokic.

Of all the major statistical category, Karl-Anthony Towns beats Jokic and Embiid in just one, defensive rating. When it comes to points, rebounds, assists, offensive rating, win shares, usage, etc., one of the other two big men (often both) are better than KAT.

Still Love KAT’s Answer

But who gives a fuck what the numbers say. Or what other players, coaches, media or I say. Karl-Anthony Towns should believe he is the Most Valuable Player. This isn’t David vs Goliath. KAT absolutely belongs in the conversation as the NBA’s best big man, especially now that the Minnesota Timberwolves are winning games.

And he is just as important to his team as anybody else in the league is to theirs. If Karl is going to reach his full ceiling of potential, he will need the type of confidence he displayed in his “who’s the MVP” answer. Because if KAT doesn’t believe he’s the best big man in the NBA then he never will be.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan