Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns reveals mom in coma with coronavirus

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AP

Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns reveals mom in coma with coronavirus

The coronavirus has struck home for Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.

In a nearly six-minute video posted on social media late Tuesday night, Towns revealed that his mom, Jacqueline Cruz, contracted the coronavirus and has been placed in a medically induced coma.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-JMTMeJhi6/?igshid=8fmvf0f35qld

An emotional Towns sat in front of the camera and recounted the events of the last week.

Towns said his parents weren't feeling well last week, so he and his sister advised them to get tested for the coronavirus.

They went to the doctor, but his mom's condition didn't improve.

"She kept getting worse," Towns said in the video. "She just wasn't getting better."

Towns mentioned that his mom's fever would go down, but rise again during the night.

"She was deteriorating," Towns said.

Eventually, Towns' father was released from the hospital and is currently quarantined at his house. But Towns' mom remained in the hospital.

According to Towns, they thought his mom had turned the corner in recent days, but "she went sideways quick and her lungs were getting extremely worse."

At that point, Towns' mom was put on a ventilator.

"It's rough," Towns said.

Towns had a very pointed message for everyone watching his video.

"I'm keeping the strength up for everybody in my family," Towns said. "So I made this video so people can understand the severity of this disease is real. This disease needs to not be taken lightly. Please protect your families, your loved ones, your friends, yourself. Practice social distancing. Please don't be in places with a lot of people. This disease is deadly."

Prayers up to KAT and his mom.

Andrew Wiggins has been silencing critics ever since trade to Warriors

Andrew Wiggins has been silencing critics ever since trade to Warriors

PHOENIX -- For much of his career, Andrew Wiggins has simultaneously fought and triggered the criticisms of poor effort and sub-par defense, triggering a label of "bust" for the former first-round pick. 

In his first five seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he was among the worst defenders in the league, drawing the ire of former teammates, wearing out his welcome in the Midwest. 

The reputation followed him to Golden State, where even a change of address couldn't erase his mistakes. At his new gig, he's betting a new environment will unlock his game. Twenty-seven points, five assists and four rebounds later, he momentarily silenced those pundits in a 112-106 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. 

"Any time you enter a new chapter in life, you want to do better," Wiggins said following the defeat. "You never want to go back to how stuff was before. This is a blessing."

At the moment, Wiggins is taking advantage of the opportunity. Against the Suns, he showed potential. Six minutes into the game, he hit a 3-pointer in front of Golden State's bench, giving the Warriors a two-point lead. A minute later, he found Marquese Chriss on an alley-oop pass. More vital, he finished with a career-high four blocks, hounding Devin Booker much of night, impressing coaches along the way. 

"He's a great weapon to have," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "And we're still learning how to use him and what he's comfortable with and how to use him and experiment." 

"It's a great challenge and it's only going to make me better," Wiggins added. "Guarding the best guys in the league and seeing their tendencies. It's only going to make me better so I love it. 

Over his last three games, he has been tasked with guarding the opposition's best player, showing his two-way potential. In Saturday's loss to the Lakers, he scored 24 points, helping limit All-Star forward LeBron James to just 7-of-17 shooting from the field. Two nights later, he scored 14 of his 18 points in the third quarter, helping the Warriors cut a 21-point deficit to five. 

Wiggins' activity was only seen in spurts during his Minnesota tenure. Picked No. 1 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, he was expected to lead the Timberwolves back to contention. However, his calm demeanor and propensity to disappear in games all but erased his annual average of nearly 20 points per game. Paired with fellow No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns, the duo was known more for unfulfilled potential than wins. All the while, Wiggins was one of the worst defenders in the league. 

The trade to Golden State has also provided a welcomed change for Wiggins on the offensive end. No longer subjected to heavy isolation offense, he's now asked to cut in the Warriors' motion offense -- a change the 24-year old has enjoyed. 

"It's been great," Wiggins said. "I feel like I've been adapting pretty well and guys have been helping me. But you get easier baskets like this. Basketball is fun, everyone is looking out for each other, unselfishly and everyone is trying to get each other open. So it's a great feeling." 

Wiggins' arrival comes as Golden State is in a period of transition. Hours before Wiggins' on-court outburst, Kerr reiterated that Stephen Curry's return from a broken hand is coming, and he's excited about pairing them together. 

"Once we are fully healthy and we've got a lot of different weapons on the floor, it becomes easier to create space for him and once he gets in space," Kerr said, "he's really explosive getting to the rim and obviously can knock down perimeter shots as well." 

[RELATED: Why Kerr compares Wiggins to puzzle piece for Dubs' future]

For five years, Wiggins has tried to bare the responsibility of carrying a franchise with mixed results. Now, in the midst of his current circumstances, he and his coaches believe he's in the right spot to fulfill his potential.

"He has been a perfect fit," Kerr said. "And he's playing well, but he has got to keep getting better and we've got to keep pushing him." 

D'Angelo Russell calls ESPN reporter 'clown' in defending Karl-Anthony Towns

D'Angelo Russell calls ESPN reporter 'clown' in defending Karl-Anthony Towns

Nick Friedell currently covers the Warriors for ESPN, but previously, the Minnesota Timberwolves were his assignment. As such, he has a strong opinion about the recently completed trade between the two organizations that had Andrew Wiggins and D'Angelo Russell trading uniforms.

"No," Friedell answered when asked if Minnesota's new pairing of Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns would turn the franchise around on Tuesday's episode of "The Jump." "I am all the way out on the Timberwolves. I don't believe that Karl-Anthony Towns is mature enough as a leader to be the face of a team that can contend and grow. I think that D'Angelo Russell was really solid in my dealings with him in Golden State, but there's a reason why the Warriors traded him.

"They did not believe that he was a core piece of a possible title contender."

After suggesting that Russell's day-to-day attitude, not just his position, encouraged Golden State to get rid of him, Friedell returned to his criticism of Towns.

"The culture that has been created in Minnesota, especially in the last year or so with [coach] Ryan Saunders and [general manager] Gersson Rosas ... everybody is afraid of upsetting Karl-Anthony Towns. Karl-Anthony Towns was anointed as 'the guy', he got a max deal ... what has he won in the league? Everything has kind of flattened since they said, 'You're the man.'"

When David Fizdale suggested that it's commonplace for NBA teams to cater to their star players, Friedell wasn't buying that excuse.

"A lot of stars in the league have won," he countered. "Towns has never won anything. He has always been the guy that everyone has said, 'Oh, he can do it.' But I think around the league, guys, the word is starting to come out that Towns has a ton of talent, and they're going to rack up a ton of points, but is somebody going to make him play defense all the time? Is somebody going to bring out the mental toughness that you need night after night to be the person that leads the way?"

Earlier in the show, Fizdale posited that, since they're best friends, Russell might be the one to constantly be in Towns' ear. Well, when Russell heard Friedell's comments, he came to his and his best friend's defense.

[RELATED: In D-Lo's debut, Wolves see same player as Warriors did]

In their first game as teammates in Minnesota, Russell and Towns combined for 45 of the Timberwolves' 126 points, but they were also a combined minus-29 in an 11-point loss. Russell can call Friedell a clown all he wants, but that doesn't prove the reporter wrong.

In fact, it has the opposite effect.