Don’t feed the animals
The problem was that it was all happening with an open microphone. And as we all know, open microphones are very unforgiving. The truth is that national media treats stars in professional basketball. There are those NBA stars that are promoted heavily, the ‘future of the sport,’ or some other cliche adage that suggests that they will lead the NBA to bigger and better heights.
Then there is the other manner of treatment. These NBA stars, whether rightfully so or not, are treated like the heels of the sport and are vilified at almost every opportunity. Right now, Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star center/power forward Karl-Anthony Towns is treated by the national media as some version of ‘rassling villain, pushing his words into the worst contexts, and feeding casual NBA fans with a multitude of reasons to root against the guy.
Don’t believe me? Already NBA pundits are weighing in, and the reactions to this diatribe on the Pat Bev podcast did not give Karl-Anthony Towns’ declaration a very warm reception.
Even to this point, he is controversial, but not out of control. But he crosses the line on the next little ditty that he downloaded during the Patrick Beverley podcast.
Isn’t confidence an admirable trait in competitive professional sports? Aren’t fans looking for the player who wants the basketball in his hands with time running out and the game on the line? Aren’t highlight reels filled with those last-second heroics that showcase a player who is willing to put his neck and the game on the line by attempting a final game-winning shot?
And yet, if that player voices that level of confidence, he is suddenly too cocky, too filled with hubris, too much of a ‘me not we,’ type of basketball player? Or is it simply how the narrative is spun, and if a LeBron James or a Victor Wembanyama makes the same statement, it is lauded in sports headlines around the nation?