Josh Okogie didn't want to hear the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin Tuesday afternoon, so Okogie took his usual pregame nap before the Timberwolves played the Kings that night.
"Part of me didn't really want to hear it live," Okogie said after the Wolves' 134-120 win over Sacramento. "I wanted to just wake up to the news."
Karl-Anthony Towns said he was sweating so much before the verdict came down he had to take another shower.
"I didn't know how it was going to go," Towns said. "We've seen moments like this so much that go the opposite way that even with how quick the verdict came in, you still have no idea where it's going to go."
But Towns said there was a "sense of relief" when jurors convicted Chauvin of murdering George Floyd. Okogie said the jury's guilty verdicts on counts of second- and third-degree murder along with second-degree manslaughter represented a victory for accountability.
"A lot of people call it justice. For me it's accountability more than anything," Okogie said. "To me if justice was really served, George Floyd would still be here today. … I think the court made the right decisions and I hope this sets a precedent for other cops around the world who, you know, I don't want to say try to, but kill innocent minorities.
"I hope this slows down the amount of shootings that are happening in the world right now."
Okogie and Towns attended a rally in downtown Minneapolis near where the trial of Chauvin took place shortly after Floyd's death last May.
Both have been vocal in using their platforms to raise awareness for police brutality and advocating for ending systemic racism, and struck a note of optimism after Tuesday's verdict.
Okogie said he hoped the verdict would be an important moment in reversing trends of police avoiding conviction in similar cases.
"There's a lot of reform that needs to be made," Okogie said. "Police reform is one of them. There's also educational reform. There's a whole bunch of different ones, but I think focusing on police reform, this is a good first step."
Towns said one of the regrettable feelings he had waiting for the verdict was that, despite the video evidence in the case, he still wasn't 100% sure a guilty verdict would come.
"We live in a world where you can catch someone in high-definition video and still we're talking about, 'Is there going to be a guilty verdict?' " Towns said. "That's a scary world we live in. You can have something in 4K, have it clear as day, showing the people, and still have concern that accountability will be actually given and justice will be served."
Guard D'Angelo Russell, who held a wide-ranging discussion with reporters after the storming of the Capitol on January 6, did the same again in his media availability after the game. Despite being relatively new to Minneapolis, he still had a hopeful outlook for his new home.
"It's accountability first and foremost, I think that's a start," Russell said. "Obviously we want change to be this big and grand in the scheme of things, but looking at the small window that we have, I think that change is happening every day."