Karl-Anthony Towns and his Minnesota Timberwolves opened the season with a win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, marking a return to the sport as the NBA tries to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
During Wednesday night’s game, the Minnesota Timberwolves center snagged a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds, awarding him game-ball honors. When asked during a post-game interview with Fox Sports about where he planned to put the game ball, Towns told Marney Gellner he would be putting it with his mother.
“I’m gonna put it next to my mom,” he said. “I’m just happy I got this for her. I told her I wanted to get her this win and get her this ball. I was just happy I was able to get it done.”
Towns continued to open up about the emotional impact of losing his mother Jacqueline Towns, who passed on April 13.
“You know what, I don’t even recognize most of my other games and years I’ve played and how I felt those days,” Towns told reporters, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “If I can be honest with ya’ll for a second, I mean, I don’t really recall or really care. I only understand what happened from April 13 on.”
Jacqueline was hospitalized due to health complications after contracting the coronavirus. Towns later had to make the difficult decision to remove her from life support.
“Because you may see me smiling and stuff, but that Karl died on April 13. He’s never coming back I don’t remember that man,” he added. “You’re talking to the physical me, but my soul has been killed off a long ago.”
Towns’ heartbreaking comments came on the same day the NBA postponed a season opener between the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder because of COVID-19 protocol violations.