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  • There's a reason that a lot of professional athletes have a hard time when they retire, because being say a basketball player isn't just what they do, it's who they are from grade school on its.

  • See that kid?

  • He's that basketball player.

  • Or guess so.

  • I've got my English class, that basketball player, and being that person influences every aspect of their lives from what college they attend to where they live to the house or car they come by.

  • Karl Anthony Towns is no exception.

  • For the better part of two decades.

  • If you asked him who he waas, he would tell you he was a basketball player.

  • But then this year happened Cove.

  • It came.

  • The MBA season shut down, and in April, Cat's life shut down when his effervescent mother, Jackie, became an early casualty of the virus.

  • If you've heard a lot of people in the media talk about Jackie, it's because so many of us spent time with her.

  • She and towns Dad were just always there at games at charity events.

  • She was the glue of not just the town's family, but the Timberwolves family and her death absolutely wrecked.

  • Carl, who later revealed it had been him at 24 years old who had to give the okay to take his mom off life support.

  • I honestly don't know how you wake up every day after something like that.

  • But Carl did, and it just got harder as co vid ripped through his extended family relatives, getting each other sick like dominoes.

  • The night before Carl started training camp, he got a call his uncle had passed, bringing the death toll in his family 27 And of the family, it's Karl who is the basketball player, right?

  • Which means he's the one with the pro athlete, re sources and connections to try to help, as he described to us last week.

  • I'm just trying, trying my best to keep my family safe, you know, just like my mom.

  • So I'm trying to keep my sister, the kids, my dad out of harm's way keep my family out of harm's way.

  • You know, I've seen a lot of coffins in the last seven months, but eight months, But you know, I have a lot of people who are who have in my family and my mom's family who have gotten cope.

  • It and I'm the one looking for answers, still trying to find how to keep them healthy.

  • So, um, you know, it's just a lot of responsibility.

  • You know, a lot of responsibility on me toe.

  • Keep my family well informed and toe make all the moves necessary to keep them a lot.

  • That's a tremendous burden to carry.

  • While also trying to start doing your job again.

  • Towns is fortunate to play for a team that's wrapped its arms around him.

  • Coach Ryan Saunders, of course, knows what it's like to lose apparent Young.

  • He was 29 when his father Flip died Ricky Rubio to.

  • He was 25 when he lost his mom.

  • But there's only so much anyone on the team can say or do, and how hard this has been has been obvious.

  • In both of the Wolves preseason games on Saturday, Towns couldn't even get off the bench for introductions.

  • As Saunders explained later, doing so would have made it really right that he was really about to play his first game without Jackie in the building, and the weight of that was so heavy, Carl could not even stand under it.

  • Of course, Karl is also a pro, so he did eventually get up.

  • And he did play not just that game, but another last night.

  • He's usual.

  • Efficiency just wasn't there, though.

  • Last night he made just three of 12 shots.

  • He turned the ball over four times.

  • Now, I would think that if he gets into a better rhythm, as his team with some new faces gets to practice together more, he will regain his All Star form.

  • But he's also made it clear he's never going to be the same person he used to be.

  • He said that he's been humbled and also hardened by what happened, and that every day forward he will be marked by this awful year.

  • From now on, hooping will just be the job he has, not who he is from now on.

  • He's not that basketball player.

  • From now on, who he is first and foremost is Jackie Towns, son.

  • I mean, what is your reaction to everything that Karl Anthony Towns has gone through and then had to get on a basketball court?

  • I'm overwhelmed by it.

  • It's such a sad story, Rachel, I think you hit the mark when you said this is a guy who's got a lot of money makes $30 million a year.

  • He's got connections.

  • You can call the commission of the league who can call almost anybody of power of note in this country with all those connections and all that money, it didn't mean anything.

  • This is a virus that doesn't do credit checks.

  • This is a virus that doesn't care who you are.

  • It's It's indiscriminate in that way.

  • And in the same way you have multiple family members, chief among them.

  • Your mother has passed away and you gotta walk around every day and see people everywhere disregarding safety protocols to go get a drink or to do whatever it is they want.

  • And that's pretty much what ended up.

  • Uh, that virus spreading ended up taking away so many family members from calls, so I can't imagine what that feels like.

  • Um, and beyond the hurt, the pain.

  • There's gotta be some level of anger, right?

  • When you look around at how we've treated this virus as a country, you gotta be angry if you're calling anti towns or anyone else who's lost someone to it because you feel like there are people out there who just aren't taking this seriously, whether they're not following protocols or even worse, the people say it's a hoax or or other kind of foolish kind of remarks that has to make you so incredibly angry.

  • If you're Karl Anthony Towns or anybody else in his position.

  • And Paul people were talking to Carl last week and saying, Oh, is basketball therapy for you is an escape And he said No.

  • He said that there's no escape from this.

  • There's no therapy for this yet.

  • He has to still go play basketball.

  • You have had to play when you've had a tremendous weights off the court.

  • How do you how do you do it?

  • And what this tells me is let the fans know and people know that we're human, you know, we're not immune to the problems and the pressures that goes on in everyday life.

  • Yes, he has the money.

  • Yes, he has.

  • Resource is it didn't matter.

  • You know, we're not immune to these problems that happened in people's everyday lives, and people have to understand that Yes, we step on record as basketball players were looked up to us role model, but we're not superhuman.

  • You know, we can't, you know, cure diseases we can't like.

  • You said, uh, get the vaccine before anybody else.

  • I mean, you know, we still faced with everyday life just like everyone else.

  • And I just hope people understand that as he goes through this hardship of this season and understanding if he doesn't perform at the same level he's done in the past, I mean, you see?

There's a reason that a lot of professional athletes have a hard time when they retire, because being say a basketball player isn't just what they do, it's who they are from grade school on its.

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Karl-Anthony Towns is making an emotional comeback after losing his mother to COVID-19 | The Jump

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/18
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