The Timberwolves Won’t Win Until Karl-Anthony Towns Grows Up.
Remember when we used to think Karl-Anthony Towns was too good, at this point in his career, for the Timberwolves to tank a season while he was on the roster? Wow… that was soooo 2019.
In fact, some might argue the opposite, given his numbers. If you’ve read anything on the Wolves today, you know they’ve lost 11-straight games. Karl-Anthony Towns’ losing streak, however, actually sits at 18 games. Yup, he hasn’t seen the Winner’s Circle since November 27, due to games he missed throughout December/January, with injury/illness.
The Wolves went 5-10 while Towns was out and actually played defense, which was rather shocking to see. Maybe that’s why Towns felt so disrespected when he didn’t make the all-star roster…. because they don’t play any defense in that game either.
Alright, alright… this is NOT a blog calling for the trade of Karl-Anthony Towns. He’s the only bright spot the Wolves have, so let’s not send him off quite yet.
No, this is a blog about what Karl-Anthony Towns SHOULD be, if he and his ego could get out of the way. KAT feeling this slighted by an All-Star snub says everything about what is wrong with his attitude.
Much like Andrew Wiggins, he is a basketball-entitled brat who doesn’t know how to win NBA games.
What does that mean?
If you really want to win in the NBA, every detail matters. You are playing with the best basketballers in the entire world… the margin for error is tiny. Focus, energy, and effort have to come every night.
Scratch that… focus and energy have to be there for every single practice shot, every single film session, and every single weight room rep… You need to eat, breathe, and sleep WINNING.
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan are perfect examples of this. Both guys had immense talent, that can’t be denied, but both players were driven by the talent around them. Both guys knew that someone else was ready to take their place atop the hierarchy, if they lost focus for even a moment.
Don’t believe me? Well maybe you should ask Karl-Anthony Towns, himself….
“I was having a conversation with someone the other day … fans think it’s so easy to win in the NBA and it’s very difficult,” Towns said. “It’s the most difficult thing you can think of. No offense, this is not Life Time Fitness, this is not LA Fitness, this is the real thing. This is the best of the best playing, on one court, at one time, trying to figure out how to beat each other in a game of basketball. The margin of error is very slim.
One thing I always try and tell our guys is that, ‘It’s cool to go out there and do 98 great things and we come in here and we talk about all the 98 great things out of 100 that we did, but those two bad things are going to be the reason we lose.’ The margin of error in the NBA is that slim and tonight was one of those nights.”Karl-Anthony Towns – via ESPN (1/23/20)
This is exactly the shit I’m talking about…
How dense do you have to be, to utter these words, when you haven’t brought consistent focus since November? Do you remember pre-December KAT?
He was averaging nearly 13 RPG and showing the league that he knew there was a defensive end of the floor. He had his steals and blocks up over 1 per game… He looked engaged and, with an improved and more focused Andrew Wiggins playing Robin, the future looked…. not so dark for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Since then, offensive numbers have remained impressive (surprise surprise) but the “try-hard” stats have all fallen. He’s now under 9 RPG and both blocks and assists have dropped below 1.
In other words, he lost focus.
|Per Game||Before Nov. 28||After Nov. 28|
Entering November 28, the Wolves were 10-8 and looking like a playoff team. The “I told you so’s” coming from Karl were as regular as my grandma on Miralax… and now seem just as vomit-worthy.
So, my advice to KAT would be this:
Stop focusing on All-Star games and start focusing on what it takes to be a winner. Maybe, play some defense and bring consistent effort? You might run into a win or two.
At this point though, the season is way too far gone… so I don’t even want to see good-KAT anymore. All good-KAT will do if he returns, is help win enough games to keep the Wolves out of a top-3 draft pick.
So KAT, if you’re reading this…. feel free to take the rest of this season off, brooding about why you aren’t an All-Star. Invite Devin Booker over, stay up late, play video games, and drink Code Red Mountain Dew for the next couple months.
Then, take the offseason to grow up… because grown-ups don’t make excuses for not getting the job done. They don’t complain when things don’t go their way or life isn’t fair.
They push the microphones out of their face, and they get to work. Because, winning fixes everything, including All-Star snubs and fan-written hit pieces.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan