INDIANAPOLIS – It seemed like Karl-Anthony Towns had something he wanted to get off his chest.
Towns had a reflective and emotional postgame media session following the Timberwolves’ 116-114 loss to the Pacers. It was Towns’ first game back since suffering a knee injury and illness that caused him to miss 15 games.
While he was out, reports surfaced concerning teams monitoring Towns’ level of unhappiness. In his first public comments since the injury, he made a strong statement that reaffirmed his commitment to the Wolves when asked about those reports. Here it is in full, with a curse word edited.
“I think you’ve been around me long enough to know I don’t go for all the ...,” Towns said. “I just do my job, go home and I know what the real story is. There’s a reason those stories are made because people need to sell papers, sell links and clicks, whatever the case may be. I’m here to be a Minnesota Timberwolf. Very fortunate I have a head coach like [Ryan Saunders], a President and friend like [Gersson Rosas]. I’m not worried about all that nonsense.
“Whatever we have to deal with in house, we’ll deal with in house, but this ain’t the circus like it used to be. This is something that’s going to be done as a family. If we have a problem or anything, we’ll deal with it internally. We won’t have any external forces here adding anything.”
There’s a lot to unpack there, including Towns saying “this ain’t the circus like it used to be,” which is likely a reference to the messy divorce the Wolves had with Jimmy Butler under Tom Thibodeau. He has seemed happy with the direction of the organization with his friend Saunders as coach and Rosas as President.
That statement backed that up.
As tends to happen in the NBA, social media ran with the reports and speculated where Towns may end up, even though he’s just in the first year of a five-year deal with the Wolves. Perhaps that will quiet some of the noise.
On another front, the Wolves played great defense with Towns out of the lineup, even if they did struggle to win.
Towns smiled as he talked about the Wolves defense, lacing his words with some colorful language.
“I joke around that they do all that when I’m not on the court,” Towns said. “Rearview contest. We weren’t rearview contesting well. We weren’t getting around screens well. All of a sudden I get hurt, we’re going around screens like the best defensive team in the world. We’re contesting every shot off the mid-range," adding that his teammates were making him look bad.
“I just laugh about it," Towns said. "I told them all on the team and they all laughed. But they did a great job.”
The Wolves were happy to have Towns back despite the loss. He finished with 27 points. Saunders said they would evaluate how he’s feeling before deciding if he’ll play Saturday at home against Toronto.