LOS ANGELES – A Philadelphia Eagles fan since he was a boy, Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns tweeted out support for his favorite team after Sunday’s NFC Championship Game rout, and for plenty of Vikings fans, it was too soon.
The backlash was fierce and silly: Boo him. Trade him. Worry about your defense. Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid is your daddy.
Towns giggled when asked about such reaction and said he couldn’t lose either way on Sunday. He is friends with tight end Kyle Rudolph and other Vikings players and he has cheered for the Eagles since the 2004 season in which they advanced to the Super Bowl even though he grew up in New Jersey not far from where the Jets and Giants played.
Monday, he didn’t back down.
“I don’t care,” he said of the reaction. “There’s a lot of hate out there for me right now, but it’s all good. Understand February 4th, 6:30 Eastern, make sure you catch us. We’ll be on TV. See you then.”
Towns has cheered for the Eagles since Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Terrell Owens and Brian Dawkins played for them. He told his dad he couldn’t cheer for the Giants after he watched them get thumped one day.
“Being young, you love flashy players,” Towns said. “I was drawn to the flashiness, how great they were. We didn’t have Game Pass, so you had to watch the teams around you and the Eagles always were on Fox. I just drew a love for them.”
In his tweet, he congratulated the Vikings on a great season but added, “gotta go with the Birds, born and bred a fan,” which apparently was too much for some hurting Minnesota fans.
“I’m going to be myself,” Towns said. “I’ve been an Eagles fan since I was young. I always stay loyal to my team. Regardless what happened in that game, I was winning both ways. I was going to have a huge amount of support for the Vikings if they won. I felt the only next game I could possibly lose was the Super Bowl.”
MRI for Butler
Wolves star Jimmy Butler and reserve Jamal Crawford each missed their second game in a row Monday vs. the Clippers.
Coach Tom Thibodeau grudgingly admitted Butler had a magnetic resonance imaging exam on his right knee, but said it’s just sore and sitting him for the two games is “more us taking precaution.” Butler shot before Monday’s game.
Thibodeau said swelling must subside from Crawford’s sprained big toe. Crawford was injured when a player fell into his leg Friday in Houston. “It’s kind of a flukish thing, but it’s getting better each day,” he said.
All-Star Game reserves will be announced at 6 p.m. Tuesday on TNT. The Wolves are hoping to get two players in for only the third time in franchise history in Butler and Towns.
Have they won enough to get two?
“I think so, but I think it’s going to be hard,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “The West, there’s a lot of good players. You’ve got to vote for the entire Golden State team and then there’s not a lot of guys left after that.”
• The Clippers played Monday without injured DeAndre Jordan (ankle sprain), Danilo Gallinari (glute), Austin Rivers (ankle), Patrick Beverley (knee surgery) and Jawun Evans (abdominal).
• Thibodeau, when asked if he worried about coaches’ safety after Clippers star Blake Griffin clipped Houston’s Mike D’Antoni as Griffin ran down the sideline last week: “It was a hotly contested game. I like competition, so I didn’t see a problem with it.”