Rookie of Year Towns surprised he didn’t even do better

Karl-Anthony Towns signed autographs at AllSports in Fayette Mall Wednesday. (Matt DiLorenzo Photo)

Karl-Anthony Towns signed autographs at AllSports in Fayette Mall Wednesday. (Matt DiLorenzo Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Despite his enormous talent, Karl-Anthony Towns has never been one to take success for granted. He didn’t in high school and certainly did not during his one year at UK.

That’s why he was not stunned with his rookie season in the NBA with Minnesota that led to him being named Rookie of the Year.

“I knew what I did in those hours people were asleep. I knew what I did when those people were eating dinner – where I was. I understood the amount of work I put in to my craft. I trusted it. I had no thoughts about anything else I could have done better. I felt that I gave every single ounce of sweat, effort and just every single part of me to the offseason coming into my rookie season.,” Towns said during a break from camp at UK.

“People ask me that same question and I’m actually surprised I didn’t do better. I felt I had a lot left that I could have done. My expectations were even higher than that. But I’m blessed. I’m blessed to say I had KG (Kevin Garnett) as a mentor. I’m blessed to have my learning curve shortened due to the fact of me having a great coach who played in the NBA at one point as well in Sam Mitchell, and having KG. I’m just blessed to have great trainers and great staff that pushed me and led me in the right direction every single day.”

He says playing at Kentucky certainly helped.

“Obviously being at Kentucky I’ve always been able to play the physical game so I had never had a problem playing physical. But I think it just shows the growth and maturity I had due to the fact of my time here,” he said.

Once again, though, he’s not ready to rest on his laurels. Instead, he thinks he can one day be the best player in the world.

“I have the confidence in myself. I have everything I think to do it. Now it’s all up to me to execute,” he said. “Everyone in the NBA has the ability to do that. We all have the ability to be the best player in the world.

“It just matters who puts more time and puts more work in, and who’s more fortunate enough to make it happen with the right situation. I feel that Minnesota right now gives me one of the best situations in all of the NBA.”

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