Karl-Anthony Towns, the Minnesota Timberwolves center, spoke with Sports Illustrated about the struggles he endured during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 NBA seasons following the grief brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, COVID-19 took the life of his mother, his uncle and five other family members. This was a nightmare of a disease for Towns as he struggled dealing with the grief of losing so much family, especially his mother.
2021 from the start hasn’t been much easier for Towns. On Jan. 15, Towns tested positive for COVID-19. He quarantined for a few weeks and even received treatment in a hospital. By the time Towns rejoined his team on Feb. 1, he had lost 50 pounds.
Karl-Anthony Towns lost 50 pounds after he contracted COVID-19. He thought about stepping away from the game and had the symptoms of a panic attack when he was first cleared to travel with the Timberwolves.
On what Towns went through, and where he is now https://t.co/5yhvNV8RQi
— Michael Pina (@MichaelVPina) September 27, 2021
After missing just five total games combined over his first four seasons, Towns missed 37 games in 2019-20 and 22 more in 2020-21, an abrupt departure for one of the NBA’s most consistently available players.
Towns turns 26 in November and — hardened by the trials and tribulations of a tumultuous two seasons — appears ready to move forward and leave his troubles behind.
“I’m like, ‘I’m ready. If we had to start today. I’m more than prepared. I’m mentally prepared to go to Minnesota, live in Minnesota, play this game of basketball.’ I’ve been working tremendously hard this offseason. I’ve been working on not only my body but just working on me,” Towns said in his interview with Sports Illustrated. “I think I found some comfort in where my life is right now.”
On Monday afternoon, Towns spoke with press during Timberwolves media day where he was asked about the team almost being fully vaccinated and how he feels about other NBA players being vocal about not getting vaccinated. He emphasized how it’s everyone’s choice to get a vaccine, but he is tired of people making up excuses that make no sense, similarly to what he expressed on Twitter a couple weeks ago.
Every day I see a new excuse why people ain’t getting the vaccine. Ya starting to get creative with these “reasons” though and it’s actually really funny.
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) September 15, 2021
“I’m very appreciative of those two players coming forward and obviously knowing that everything’s a choice. I’m never going to take away anyone’s choice. I can strongly suggest something,” Towns said. “Shoutout to those players for seeing how important it was to me and this organization that they went forward.”
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