Karl-Anthony Towns covers many topics before his youth basketball camp


Karl Anthony Towns accepts the award for Best Male Performance of the Year during the Catspys at Memorial Coliseum on Monday, April 27, 2015 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Taylor Pence

Zack Geoghegan

Minnesota Timberwolves center and former Kentucky Wildcat, Karl-Anthony Towns, were in Lexington over the weekend as he hosted the 2017 Karl-Anthony Towns Summer Slamfest.

Before the camp, Towns sat down with the media, answering several questions about his continued connections with UK and his career so far in the NBA. Here are some of the highlights from Towns’ press conference.

Towns’ offseason

Towns has had a busy and productive offseason, as he has been featured in commercials, video games and much more just in this summer alone.

Towns discussed some of his offseason adventures, including a commercial with Gatorade that showed him staring at a newspaper that read “38 & DONE” at the top. The commercial focused on “the secret to victory” and Towns uses the loss of a perfect season to fuel the fire that drives him to be great.

However, Kentucky fans may have seen the commercial in a different light. When asked about what type of reactions he’s seen from UK fans regarding the commercial he replied with a chuckle and said, “What do you think?”

Kentucky experience and connections

Towns was eager to praise coach John Calipari, his time at UK and the future Wildcats who will take the floor this fall.

“They should be good,” Towns said when asked about how Kentucky basketball will fare in the upcoming season.

“It’s going to take some time for them to gel but I think they got some talent that is undeniable,” Towns said

Towns doesn’t look at just one of UK’s many talented prospects and pick them out as someone who could break out, rather he compared the situation to his time at UK and how the team he was on had to work as one collective unit to obtain the lofty expectations that had been set by the fans, the media and the players themselves.

“When we were playing, there was no one player to look at. You looked at us as a collective group because we all felt like one player. You know, we moved as one, reacted as one, we won as one and we lost as one,” Towns said.

Towns stated that a ton of his personal success and Kentucky’s overall success is owed to Calipari and his dedication to the kids that he brings in and teaches every year. Towns touched on how his current head coach Tom Thibodeau is different from Calipari in their style of coaching, but similar in their drive and will to make others better.

“When you have that passion from a coach, that’s when you truly feel it, you just seem to be more energized,” Towns said. “I think that’s why Coach Cal always gets the best of his players because he’s giving his best to them at all given times… There’s a reason why he’s in the Naismith (hall of fame).”

Towns was also asked about John Wall recently being accepted into the UK Hall of Fame and he was quick to brag on the former UK alum.

“That’s tremendous, I mean that’s a huge honor that I can only wish in my lifetime I’m able to achieve,” Towns said. “If I would be able to be a part of the UK Hall of Fame that would be a life moment. That’s a lifetime achievement. That’s like winning your first NBA Championship….It’s a big honor to be able to call yourself one of the greats in UK history.”

Even with all of Towns’ success and the bright future he has laid before him, his one year at Kentucky is still something he will never forget.

“We made goals for ourselves that were – to a lot of people – not possible, and we made it possible. You’re going to see our team as a testament to what true power is and what true perfection is, but at the same time, how far away perfection truly can be in a humbling story, which is sad, because I feel our story was written in pen instead of pencil, and we were mistaken.”

Timberwolves’ potential

Towns will begin his third NBA season this year, but with a team that is already ahead of schedule. After acquiring All-Star player Jimmy Butler, the Minnesota Timberwolves will have one of the most talented rosters in the NBA as they look to help the rest of the league in taking down the Golden State Warriors.

For now, Towns is just enjoying the offseason and the opportunities it gives him to meet new people and visit new places.

“I’m always having fun, you know,” Towns said. “If I stop having fun then that’s when I take a break.”