We met with 2015 first round NBA draft pick, NBA 2016 Rookie of the Year and all-star basketball player of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns, when he was on Long Island recently.
What is one thing you can’t do without?
I can be around my family probably. I could always make it. I don’t need a phone and all that stuff, but it’s always cool having my sister around, family around us, my parents. They mean the world to me.
Besides basketball, what do you do?
I golf a lot. I play a lot of video games and eat a lot of food. When I’m not doing those three things I’m just relaxing watching movies. I love watching TV shows, and I am still watching Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Disney channels.
When did you start playing basketball?
As soon as I could pick up a basketball or any sort of sports ball, whether it would be Fisher-Price size or regulation, I was playing. My dad was a high school coach so I always used to go with my dad. I always wanted to be with Pop. We were always shooting basketballs.
If you could have a roster wish list, who would be on it?
I would say my team. I wouldn’t even trade one person. I’m so happy with the team I’m on, the time that we have I think that we’re All-Star Five and we can beat anyone any given day.
Does your family support you or do they wish you could stay home more?
Mom wishes I would stay home more and my dad supports me more. They both support me tremendously, but my mom always loves seeing me.
Do you like to play yourself in 2K?
Not many times I play, I play as myself. Not at all. I really only play as myself when someone talks a lot of trash. I really want to end it right there.
What was your favorite basketball team as a kid?
The New York Knicks. I was a Knicks fan growing up. I’ve always been a Knicks fan and that was the only team that gave my dad a chance in the NBA and I still respect them for that.
What was it like winning Rookie of the Year?
It was really cool. Not many chances do people even get to be in the NBA and not only was I in the NBA, but I won that award. So it was a blessed opportunity that I had to be with the NBA and be able to take advantage of it.
Who was the hardest player to go against this year?
Marc Gasol. He’s really good and he could shoot, he could pass. He’s very big, very tall and he could score awkwardly and fundamentally. When you have a player like that who can do a lot of different things I had to give him time and makes for a harder time.
Does your uniform number have any special meaning?
Yes, so 32 for me was my dad’s number when he was playing and I always wanted to be. As a person I always saw my dad as a great coach and a great player. I always wanted to be like Dad so I use his number as my favorite number and 32 stuck with me ever since.
What is the one part of your game that needs improvement?
Every single part. Everyone always asks what’s the one part and I think that’s something that holds you back a little bit. I think you should work on every single aspect, no matter if you’re great at it or not. You got to keep it sharp and make it sharper.
Are the referees always right?
You know what? They’re right in their own regard. You know it’s a game. There are always going to be some questionable calls, and there are always going to be some bad calls, but at the end of the day they’re trying their best just like we are trying our best to win a game.
Do you want the ball at the end of the game with the game on the line?
I do. It’s something when you start realizing the best players always want the ball with the game on the line and that’s just being mature. Understanding that you could make it or miss it. You ain’t always going to make it, but willing to take that pressure, willing to take that moment for yourself and whether you make it or not, take responsibility for whatever happens. That’s a great sense of maturity.
With the addition of Kevin Durant, do you think the Warriors can be stopped this year?
You know what? I think they added a great piece of talent, Kevin Durant. I think they have a great team. Now they’re just trying to build. They’re trying to build longevity for the team that could be very dangerous for a lot years.
Do you play Pokémon Go and if so, what’s your best Pokémon?
I do. I don’t play as much as my brother does.
What was the first thing you bought after signing your contract?
I actually paid my mom and dad’s house off. I actually did that with my money. And then after that I didn’t do anything for myself. I bought me, I guess, some Red Lobster biscuits for home.