There is no such thing as an NBA Champion who simply shows up and earns that coveted victory. In the NBA, there are many ways to open the door of opportunity. But once you are in, there is only one way to remain, to improve, and to succeed. It takes a lot of work. And the work ethic of some Minnesota Timberwolves players is above reproach.
Unfortunately, you have to wonder about others.
Right now, the Minnesota Timberwolves are climbing to the top. It’s a challenging journey, one that this team must learn how to achieve on their own, through trial and error, and in real-time. How badly does this team, these players want to win? Even before signing his extension, backup center Naz Reid was working out with his teammates. Like who?
A team is a group of players really like, respect, and communicate with one another. And forget what you may think. Filling an NBA locker room with goodwill and laughter is never an easy task. There are those players who try to bring the team together. They are present, they encourage, they know their value, and they encourage others to become the best versions of themselves as well.
Karl-Anthony Towns appears to be the obvious outlier
And yet, no matter how vigilant a player becomes, there are those who seem to flourish in the maelstrom. They find excuses not to get better. They are not present and typically go their own way. And sadly, the Minnesota Timberwolves have examples of both on the roster right now:
A team does not happen organically. Whether right or wrong, NBA analysts, experts, pundits, and fans have eyes on the Minnesota Timberwolves right now. While the Minnesota Timberwolves boasts a young and talented roster, the team is up against it in terms of the NBA salary cap.
That places every expensive player on this Timberwolves roster on the radar scope for NBA analysts everywhere, all of whom are looking for the anomaly, the lone wolf on the Timberwolves roster who appears to be the outlier. And right now, that outlier is Karl-Anthony Towns.
That is problematic. You see, the NBA Rumors are going to hound the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. But it will be even more of a problem for Karl-Anthony Towns this season. He had the chance to present himself as just one of the guys, a united front. Even as his teammates were facing the uncertainty of contract extensions and negotiations.
He chose not to be there.
The challenge is, as time passes, he will find himself isolated and alone with questions about his future with the team. I wonder how many of them will choose to have his back, or simply follow his example and choose not to be there for him?