I saw Karl-Anthony Towns’ comment on the All-Star vote and immediately changed my NBA wishlist. From today my top wish is for D’Angelo Russell, Devin Booker, and Karl Anthony Towns to end up on the same team. They teased the concept in a SLAM interview a few months ago, and now it is all I want – The All-Millenial team. Here’s what Towns said.
“I’m desensitized to being disrespected in this league. I’ve been disrespected since I came in. It’s nothing new when I didn’t see my name up there. When you’re a person who’s been disrespected like me so much, it’s something you expect honestly. You’re kind of shocked when you do get it.”Karl-Anthony Towns, Star Tribute
Here are a few facts. Karl Anthony Towns was the no.1 pick of the 2015 Draft. In 2018, he signed a max rookie extension that guarantees him over $150 million. Shaq, Chuck, and all other great frontcourt veterans consistently name him the most promising big man in the NBA. He was the Rookie of the Year in 2016, on All-NBA Third team in 2018, and IS A TWO TIME ALL-STAR. Disrespected since he came in? If that’s disrespect, let me have some of it.
Here are a few more facts. Towns missed 17 games this season, the last time the Wolves won with him on the court was before Thanksgiving and the two players who made it from the Western conference in front of him this year are Nikola Jokić and Rudy Gobert. Both are having a better season than Towns, partly due to games played, partly due to defense played.
Minnesota is having a horrible year, they are on a 12 games losing streak, and not all of it is on Towns. But he has been floating between bad and terrible on defense since Kevin Garnett retired. Out of 65 centers in the NBA, Towns is 65th in ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus, a metric that that is supposed to calculate how a player adds to (or detracts from) his team winning regardless of who’s on the floor with him. He is first in the same metric, but for the offense.
Someone could try and explain to him that defense is an essential part of playing basketball, and it’s not “disrespectful” to knock him for that. But, then the Wolves would be risking telling him something that might hurt his feelings, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?