Karl-Anthony Towns dream – to spend his career in a Timberwolves jersey – seems more attainable than ever – Twin Cities
Karl-Anthony Towns expected none of this – neither the crowd, nor the press conference, nor the uproar caused by the Timberwolves star’s inking of his latest maximum extension which should keep the big ones with the team throughout the 2027-28 season.
However, he did it all on Friday at the team’s training center.
There was the big stage, surrounded by a pair of large projection screens broadcasting its highlights on a loop. There was Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey both present to attend the press conference and honor the towns with a scroll that declared it “Karl-Anthony Towns Day” in the city. And there, in the front row, were the people closest to Towns, from his girlfriend to his father to his agent, and everyone else in between.
It all meant so much to the unsuspecting tall man. He didn’t get any money the last time he signed a max deal. That signing came just days before training camp in 2018, and Towns’ extension was overshadowed by Jimmy Butler drama.
So much has changed since then, including Towns himself. These changes allowed him to savor Friday’s moment for all it was worth. He is grateful for everything that comes his way.
“I’ve really made it a thing in my life where I always try to look at whatever glass is half full instead of half empty. I really appreciate the things that I get, instead to be upset about the things that I haven’t had, and I think that comes with maturity,” Towns said. “Because when you’re young, you’re always…upset about what you don’t have. haven’t had, instead of just being happy with what you’ve had and what life has given you I feel like this is probably my greatest maturity, my greatest growth that I am happy with everything, instead of being happy with certain things and then letting the things that don’t make me happy take over with the things that are really good that I should celebrate more.
Friday was indeed a party. For the Timberwolves, it’s because they locked down one of the mainstays of their organization for years to come. For Towns, it was because he had taken another big step toward realizing his dream — to spend his entire career in Minnesota, the state he now calls “home.”
“My dream has always been to try and retire here and live every day of my NBA career as a wolf,” Towns said. “So, you know, obviously I’m longer and you know, deeper in my career. New contract. I feel very good with the possibility of that happening.
It certainly wasn’t always a guarantee that it would play out that way. Towns himself had doubts in the past about his future here. How could he not have it? He is the oldest Timberwolves player by four years. Minnesota has seen so much struggle and so much turnover. There was virtually no stability during his tenure.
It would have been foolish to assume that things would work out that way.
“There were a lot of thoughts like that, there was a lot of time – and elongated time, not just little moments – where I didn’t feel like I was going to be given the opportunity to take my retirement here the way I wanted,” Towns said. “So it was nerve-wracking, because you never really know. Even through everything I’ve been through, even with all the amazing things I’ve been able to do here and find so much success there, I didn’t feel like it was going to be able to keep me here and be able to finish my dream here.
That’s why even this summer, after Minnesota enjoyed a successful season that included a playoff berth and saw Towns become All-NBA, new basketball boss Tim Connelly wouldn’t keep up with the commitment of Towns for granted. Still, he could have, as the star wasted no time putting pen to paper once the offer could officially go down.
“I think it’s such a testament to who he is as a person that through all this lack of continuity, the countless different faces and a lot of tough times, he’s seen the good in the organization, in the town,” Connelly said. “And it’s a well-deserved moment where we can say, you know, better days are ahead of us, and thank you for sticking with us.”
Over the past 15+ months, with the help of Chris Finch, Anthony Edwards and Co., Towns has steered the franchise back onto a path to success where any doubts about the direction of the organization have been cleared.
There are two near certainties in Minnesota’s future – Karl-Anthony Towns and plenty of wins.
“Life is going in a weird way, and now we’re here right now and we’re still talking about me wearing a Timberwolves jersey, hopefully for the rest of my career,” he said. “So, you know, God is good.”
This is where Towns wants to be. He’s comfortable in Minnesota, playing basketball and living his life here. He is not afraid of snow. He thinks the area produces “special energy”.
“It’s something that brings a deep sense of comfort,” Towns said. “But just the guys you know, the people in this organization, the people in the locker room, the friends I’ve been able to make here in Minnesota, it feels like home.”