Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Karl-Anthony Towns describes facing coronavirus, guilt, demons (video)

Karl-Anthony Towns talking about coronavirus is getting old.

More accurately, Towns having so many reasons to talk about coronavirus is getting old.

But he continues to handle his difficult situation with faith, empathy and candor.

Towns has opened up about his mother dying from coronavirus, his continued grief and his own case of the virus. Now, upon his return to the Timberwolves, he reflected further in a lengthy postgame press conference.


I’m a high-risk case. COVID did not treat me well, whatsoever. A lot of scary nights.

I was worried at points early on because of how serious everything got. My vitals weren’t well. I had a lot of underlying conditions that didn’t play in my favor genetically, as well. The amount of virus I had in my body was not healthy whatsoever.

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 and stuff was how genetically connected I am to my mother. I am the most genetically like my mother, and it’s not close. So, that was a very scary thing to obviously put in the underlying-condition category, including that. Nothing was playing in my favor.

I knew it was going to be a long journey. I knew it was going to be a rough journey. Put to the forefront that there’s things I haven’t dealt with and still grieving and stuff that I had to deal with now in silence with no one around to help me with that process. So, mental health is real, and it’s very, very real. I’ve dealt with it my whole life, and I’m glad that I had my mother with me, because she always just knew how to heal me in that mental aspect. And obviously, with her not here, it’s even more challenging. But she gave me a lot of tools. So, I just utilized them as best as I could.

I felt very guilty about the treatment I got. And I feel that should be more widely available to Americans and anyone in the world.

There’s just such mental strain during all this time – a feeling of guilt because of the resources I have that 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’ve put to the backburner for basketball. But basketball was now taken away from me completely. My teammates were taken away from me completely. People are taken away from me completely. It’s just you in that house, and it was challenging.

I just have been through so much that it numbs you a lot to stuff. And I just have seen tragedy in my life all the time.

I personally don’t believe there should be an All-Star Game. But what the hell do I know? S****, obviously, I haven’t dealt with COVID. Probably, right? Probably the guy to have insight into that. But, s***, what do I know about COVID, right?

I didn’t expect basketball to start this year. I wasn’t mentally prepared to play when I came into training camp. S***, I wasn’t mentally prepared for tonight. But I think what really pushed me to play was these guys, these guys in the locker room.

I was just smiling on the court, even when I got to the end, because I was just so proud of myself to get to this point. It’s been a long process. It’s been many days where you don’t even feel like you’re going to come back. And I just came back from my wrist injury, and then I had COVID. And then things got very serious.

You get to a point where you just don’t feel like you ever are going to see that court again. And it’s a humbling experience. I’m not ready for the retired life yet. So, I’m glad to be back.

Hopefully, talking about this is therapeutic to him. Hopefully, his openness helps other people facing similar issues.

Hopefully, there are more smiles ahead for him.