While nothing surprised Karl-Anthony Towns during his rookie season, he credits Kevin Garnett for how he was mentored.
Garnett recently retired and one of his legacies will be the impact he had on Towns, who won Rookie of the Year.
“Without him, I don’t think my learning curve could have been expedited the way it was,” Towns said. “He taught me so much in such little time. It’s very easy to learn things and grasp things easily when you have such a great teacher and mentor.”
“The thing that I enjoyed coaching about Karl is that the more you gave him, the more he could handle,” Sam Mitchell said. “My attitude with Karl was the more you show me of the things that you can do, then I’m going to give you more. It was easy coaching Karl, because he has such a high basketball IQ. He loves playing. That’s the first thing—he loves it. And then he wants to be special.”
“You’ve seen players that have had similar characteristics in terms of the drive. He wants to be great,” Tom Thibodeau said of Towns. “Some guys think that they can shoot 17-foot shots or they’re good in the post, right and left, drive, can block shots, rebound. He does it all. The guy can shoot threes, he can put it on the floor, he can make plays, he can post, he shoots with both hands. I think there's a lot of room for growth with him defensively. I don’t think he’s tapped into that yet. I think he can.”