The Minnesota Timberwolves finally saw the return of superstar big man Karl-Anthony Towns following his extended absence due to testing positive for COVID-19 which forced him to miss the last 13 games.
Towns made his return to the court on Wednesday when the Wolves took on the Los Angeles Clippers, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and also talked about his ordeal saying that is was very “scary” at times.
“I am a high-risk case,” Towns said, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “COVID did not treat me well whatsoever. A lot of scary nights. One of the things that I told my sister when I got COVID was that, ‘Hey, I got it, and I don’t got a good version of it. I got a lot of COVID in me, but I am going to fight and beat it.'”
Towns’ mother , Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, along with six other family members died due to complications from COVID-19.
“Through all the long nights where I was just not feeling well whatsoever and the vitals weren’t good and decisions had to be made on my health, I kept [my family and my niece and nephew] in mind” Towns said. “They pushed me to continue doing things. When COVID kept messing with my body, my mind and spirit, I thought about them and my mother.”
“You hear those stories where people get COVID,” Towns said. “And they’re like, oh, for four days, five days, I didn’t feel well, and then I turned the corner magically one day and I was feeling great. That did not happen with me.”
“Everyone’s case of COVID is totally different; every human and their underlying conditions are totally different,” he added. “And my underlying conditions did not play in my favor at all for COVID, yet alone one of the most scariest parts for all of us in this organization and my immediate family is how genetically connected I am to my mother.
“Nothing was playing in my favor. I knew it was going to be a rough journey.”
The 25-year old Towns also said he experienced guilt for being able to overcome the illness due to the access to resourced that others might not have.
“I felt very guilty about the treatment I got,” Towns said. “And I feel that should be more widely available to Americans, to anyone in the world. I felt very guilty even getting something that could help me more just recover, stay healthy, stay alive. There is such mental strain through all this time, a feeling of guilt because of the resources I have, and I wish I could spread these resources with as many people as possible. The guilt, just a lot of demons I haven’t dealt with that I put to the back burner for basketball.”
Towns also spoke about the NBA’s plans to go through with an All-Star game, a decision he disagrees with.
“I personally don’t believe there should be an All-Star Game, but what the hell do I know?” Towns deadpanned. “S—, I obviously haven’t dealt with COVID, probably a guy who has some insight into that. What should I know about COVID, right?”
“COVID is a real thing,” Towns added. “It ain’t never going away. It hasn’t diminished at all. It has just gotten smarter.”