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Karl-Anthony Towns blasts NBA’s decision to hold All-Star Game

Karl-Anthony Towns has taken issue with the NBA’s decision to hold All-Star Game festivities amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As someone who just recently emerged from a grueling battle with COVID-19, the Minnesota Timberwolves star’s thoughts on the topic arguably should carry significant weight.

Towns returned to the court Wednesday night following a nearly one-month absence after contracting COVID-19. Saying that “COVID did not treat me well” in reference to his complex and grueling battle with the virus, Towns nevertheless put up 18 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes in a 119-112 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

In an incredibly candid postgame interview that lasted 21 minutes, Towns spoke emotionally about COVID-19, including how his bout with the illness brought back heartbreaking memories of how he lost his mother and six additional other family members last year to the coronavirus.

Given his tragic personal experiences with the pandemic along with his own bout with the virus, Towns also felt compelled to harshly criticize the NBA for going forward with All-Star Game festivities next month.

“I personally don’t believe there should be an All-Star Game,” Towns said, as transcribed by Chris Hine of the Star Tribune. “But what the hell do I know?

He said the next line sarcastically.

“Obviously I haven’t dealt with COVID, probably, right? I’m probably a guy that has some insight into that. What do I know about COVID, right? So I don’t believe that should happen.”

The NBA has decided to go forward with a scaled-down All-Star Game on March 7 in Atlanta, Ga., after coming to an agreement with the NBPA. The league intends to create a “mini-bubble” environment for the festivities, which include holding the exhibition game itself along with skills competitions on one night instead of the traditional three-day event.

It merits noting that despite the agreement between the NBA and NBPA to hold the All-Star Game, there was no shortage of consternation, even anger, among some of the biggest stars in the league over proceeding. Such notable players as LeBron James, Bradley Beal and Giannis Antetokounmpo came out to strongly criticize the decision.

Given his comments, Towns clearly is in the same camp as the above-mentioned stars. Further, the T-Wolves star also made note of how the pandemic has impacted front-line workers and how it’s baffling to him that people are so averse to wearing a mask to protect others.

“I just feel for them every day,” Towns said of front-line workers. “This is me personally, but you asked me a question and I’m gonna answer it honest.”

“… People complain about wearing a mask and wearing one of these and all this stuff, but these front-line workers are in there with people who are possibly dying and wearing four masks and you can’t wear one? Just one?” Towns continued. “Stop it. Don’t be lazy. Think of others before yourself. Wear the mask. Do your part. If you really hate this disease and this virus, help us stop the spread. Help us stop it. Wear one of these, go about your day, be smart, be intelligent and just be responsible.”

It merits noting that Towns has remained resolute in his commitment to social justice causes and other issues despite his personal tragedies related to COVID-19. His comments about the importance of wearing masks and gratitude to front-line workers showcase how Towns knows there are far more important things going on in the world than basketball.