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Of the 69 players picked first overall in the NBA draft, there have been 44 All-Stars and, among them, 14 Hall of Famers—plus a bunch of active stars who will one day be enshrined in Springfield. (Sorry, not you, Kwame Brown.) And although it’s true MJ wasn’t picked until No. 3, the list of No. 1 picks still includes names like Kareem, Magic, Shaq, and LeBron.
What does this all mean for 2015 No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves? Probably that we need to figure out a cool way to shorten his name.
Whether or not K.A.T. lives up to the expectations of being chosen first, we can already say that he’s one of the most well-rounded No. 1 picks ever, excelling in baseball, golf, and academics (he majored in kinesiology at Kentucky and is still taking classes with the goal of becoming a doctor).
Which isn’t to say the former Kentucky Wildcat likes to brag about the things that separate him from his peers. In person, Towns is as unassuming as the split-level Piscataway, N.J. home in which he grew up. Save for a few trophies in the living room and a blue Maserati out front, Towns comes off like your ordinary American teenager—if you ignore his 7-foot stature.
With so many diverse interests and a career that no longer allows room for modesty, we asked him: What would the first pick pick first in his own life?
No. 1 breakfast cereal?
No. 1 cookie?
No. 1 Drake song?
No. 1 response when people say you look like Will Smith?
No. 1 choice for an NBA partner in 2-on-2?
No. 1 ending: a game-winning 3 or game-winning dunk?
Outside of basketball, the No. 1 thing to knock off your bucket list?
I want to play at Augusta National.
No. 1 golf club?
I’d definitely pick the driver; that’s what I usually start off with. That, or the 8-iron.
"I’m definitely a Goku guy. He’s a G. I mean, I’m not Vegeta. I’m not that kind of guy."
No. 1 childhood baseball hero?
You were a pitcher. No. 1 pitch?
A straight four-seam fastball.
No. 1 Monopoly piece?
I don’t know what the old-school piece was, but for me, we play the Collector’s Edition so I’m always the hat or the bag of money.
You’re a Jersey dude like me. No. 1 Shore town?
I’m a Wildwood guy.
No. 1 NFC East team?
No. 1 NFC North team?
No. 1 need: talent or effort?
No. 1 season: cuffing season or open season?
I’m good with cuffing season.
No. 1 Dragonball Z character?
I’m definitely a Goku guy. He’s a G. I mean, I’m not Vegeta. I’m not that kind of guy.
No. 1 book to have on a deserted island?
The Iliad and The Odyssey.
No. 1 Twitter follow?
No. 1 pro athlete to serve as your wingman?
Any one of my Kentucky teammates.
No. 1 Olympic squad: Team USA or Dominican Republic?
I’m going to be with the Dominican Republic.
No. 1 album you bought with your own money?
I think it was back in the day. It was Eminem’s album, the debut. [The Slim Shady LP.]
No. 1 move against a smaller defender?
The hook shot.
Against a guy your own size?
Hook shot. [Laughs.]
No. 1 choice between going 38-1 with Kentucky last season and being the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft or going undefeated and being the No. 2 pick?
[Pauses.] You know what? For me, in my situation, [I] was the first pick, so I’ll take that one. I can’t go back on it now.