Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the most dominant and versatile big men in the NBA. The Minnesota Timberwolves star has earned three All-Star selections, two All-NBA Third Team honors, and the 2016 Rookie of the Year award. He also showcased his skills as a 7-footer by winning the 2022 NBA Three-Point Contest.
But long before he became a force in the league, Towns was a teenage phenom who had a chance to play against some of the best players of all time. In a recent episode of Podcast P with Paul George, Towns revealed how he faced Team USA in 2012, when he was part of the Dominican Republic national team. The team featured legends like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul, among others.
Towns said that playing against Team USA was a defining moment for him, as he realized that he could hold his own against the best in the world and that he belonged in the NBA. “I think for me it was when I was a freshman in high school and I was playing against the Dream Team V2 with Kobe and all of them and I played them in Vegas,” Towns said.
“And when I played that game, you know, you’re a young kid. You’re playing against literally the best players in the world and you know everyone’s in their prime. Bron (LeBron James) in his prime, Kobe’s still in his prime… So like, I remember that moment. I had a whole summer of playing against, like, you know, this is people we back in the day we talk about.”
Karl-Anthony Towns is proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA
Towns said that he learned a lot from watching and practicing with Team USA, but he also had a lot of confidence in his own abilities. “I was on the bench the whole most of the summer, but just watching these guys playing stuff, I was like, ‘Man, I could bust their ass. Ain’t gonna lie to you. I could do that. If they give me a chance to go on the court, I could do something.’” said Towns.
“And I remember when I played that game against them in Vegas. And it was not like I went out there and had like 20 points, 10 rebounds. Like, I had like five points. I think I had like five points and like two assists, three six. I only played the fourth quarter. But like, the fact that I was when I got on the court, how comfortable I felt making behind-the-back passes against the best players in the world, shooting threes, you know, feeling confident in my skills out there and stuff… So I was like, when I had that, I was like, ‘Nah, when I get to the NBA, I’m gonna be a problem, he added.”
Towns backed up his words by becoming one of the most prolific big men in the league since he entered it in 2015. He averaged 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as a rookie, earning unanimous Rookie of the Year honors. Towns averaged 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game this season while shooting 49.5% from the field and 36.6%from three.
Towns has proven that he is indeed a problem in the NBA, and he is not done yet. He still has a lot of room to grow and improve, and he still has a lot of goals to achieve.
Ankush Singh is an Editor for FirstSportz. He specializes in NBA news and articles. He enjoys watching the game because it is full of action, drama, and thrill. He likes to spice up his sports stories with humor and flair, but also with facts and accuracy. His goal is to make the readers laugh and learn about the latest NBA buzz.
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