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KATs’ dream is to spend his entire career in a Timberwolves jersey. That feels more attainable now

“But just the guys you know, the people in this organization, the people in the locker room, the friends I’ve been able to make here in Minnesota, it just feels like home,” Towns said.

072322.S.STP.WOLVES.jpg - Karl-Anthony Towns 07/22/22
Fresh off signing his latest max contract extension, Minnesota Timberwolves big Karl-Anthony Towns is flanked by president of basketball operations, Tim Connelly (left), and head coach, Chris Finch, at a press conference on Friday, July 22, 2022 at the team’s Mayo Clinic Square practice facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Jace Frederick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
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ST. PAUL — Karl-Anthony Towns didn’t expect any of it — not the crowd, not the press conference, not any of the hullabaloo made over the Minnesota Timberwolves star’s inking of his most recent max extension that is slated to keep the big with the team through the 2027-28 season.

Yet he got it all Friday at the team’s practice facility.

There was the big stage, surrounded by a pair of large projector screens playing his highlights on a loop. There was Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, both there to attend the press conference and honor Towns with a scroll that declared it “Karl-Anthony Towns Day” in the city. And there in the front row were the people closest to Towns, from his girlfriend to his father to his agent, and everyone else in between.

It all meant so much to the unsuspecting big man. He didn’t get any of the hooplah the last time he signed a max deal. That signature came just days prior to training camp in 2018, and Towns’ extension was overshadowed by the Jimmy Butler drama.

So much has changed since then, including Towns himself. Those changes allowed him to savor Friday’s moment for all it was worth. He’s grateful for everything that comes his way.

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“I’ve truly made it a thing in my life where I always try to look at everything where the glass is half full instead of half empty. I’m very appreciative of the things I do get, instead of being upset with the things I didn’t get, and I think that comes with maturity,” Towns said. “Because when you’re young, you always … are upset about what you didn’t get, instead of just being happy about what you did get and about what life has given you. I feel like that’s probably my biggest maturity, my biggest growth that I’m happy about everything, instead of being happy about some things, and then letting things that don’t make me happy take over with the things that are really good that I should be celebrating more.”

Friday was indeed a celebration. For the Timberwolves, it was because they locked in one of the pillars of their organization for years to come. For Towns, it was because he took another major step in living out his dream — to spend his entire career in Minnesota, the state he now calls “home.”

“My dream was always to try to retire here and live every single day of my NBA career as a Wolf,” Towns said. “So, you know, obviously I’m longer and you know, deeper into my career. New contract. I feel very good with the possibility of that happening.”

It certainly wasn’t always a guarantee it would play out like this. Towns himself had doubts in the past about his future here. How could he not have? He is the longest-tenured Timberwolves player by four years. Minnesota has experienced so many struggles and so much turnover. There has been next to no stability during his tenure.

It would have been asinine to assume things would work out just so.

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“There’s been a lot of thoughts like that, there’s been a lot of time — and elongated time, not just little moments — where I didn’t feel like I was going to be given the opportunity to retire here the way I wanted to,” Towns said. “So it was nerve-wracking, because you never really know. Even through everything I’ve been through, even with all the amazing things I’ve been able to do here and find success here so much, I didn’t feel like that was going to be able to keep me being here and being able to finish out my dream here.”

All of that is why even this summer, after Minnesota experienced a successful season that included a playoff berth and saw Towns make All-NBA, new basketball boss Tim Connelly didn’t want to take Towns’ commitment for granted. Yet he could have, because the all-star wasted zero time putting pen to paper once the offer could officially be presented.

“I think it’s such a testament to who he is as a person that through all this lack of continuity, the countless different faces and a lot of rough times, he’s seen the good in the organization, in the city,” Connelly said. “And this is a well-earned moment where we can say, you know, better days are ahead of us, and thanks for sticking with us.”

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Over the past 15-plus months, with the help of Chris Finch, Anthony Edwards and Co., Towns has re-routed the franchise onto a path to success where all doubt about the organization’s direction has been removed.

There are two near certainties in Minnesota’s future — Karl-Anthony Towns and a lot of wins.

“Life happens in weird ways, and now we’re here at this moment and we’re still talking about me wearing a Timberwolves jersey, hopefully for the rest of my career,” he said. “So, you know, God is good.”

This is where Towns wants to be. He’s comfortable in Minnesota, playing basketball and living his life here. He doesn’t mind the snow. He thinks the area produces a “special energy.”

“It’s something that brings a deep sense of comfort,” Towns said. “But just the guys you know, the people in this organization, the people in the locker room, the friends I’ve been able to make here in Minnesota, it just feels like home.”

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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