Our Kyle Ratke was in Los Angeles for Nike’s Statement Jersey unveil. Guess who else was there?! Karl-Anthony Towns (who is way more important than Kyle Ratke)!
Here’s the transcription from Towns’ time with the media:
Reporter: Can you be even better?
Towns: Oh, yeah. I had a lot of things I felt I could have done better last year that I didn’t do well. So, there’s a lot of things I think with age, more experience, more time. In the NBA, I’ve found different ways to do stuff offensively and defensively.
Reporter: Do you think you can be as good as third team in the West, maybe even better?
Towns: Absolutely. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the experience. And we’ve got the coaching. It’s all about us doing it. I don’t think anyone (so far) has doubted our talent. It’s about execution. It’s about going out there and executing.
Reporter: Have you had time to get to know Jimmy Butler?
Towns: Oh yeah. We’ve had a lot of time with each other. Just really getting to know him as the person and the player. He’s a great human being. He’s going to be such a great benefit for our team and playing against him has obviously been a lot of fun. He’s been a great teammate and someone I really look forward to playing with.
Ratke: Karl, the new jerseys. Talk about making a statement . . .
Towns: They’re definitely “making a statement” jersey, I’ll tell you that much. We’re definitely going to have the brightest jersey in the league. The jersey again is a statement to what we want to do differently as a franchise, as a culture. We want to be vibrant. We want to be able to showcase our talent just as bright as our jerseys are.
Ratke: I know it’s just a new jersey and a new logo for the team, but this offseason has been very busy for the team. It’s kind of fitting timing for everything.
Towns: Just rebranding. New look. New team. It just goes all together. It’s been something that Minnesota had up in the works and I’m glad to be part of it.
Reporter: On Ricky Rubio . . .
Towns: Yeah, I’m going to miss Ricky. Ricky was a close friend of mine. More than just a teammate. He’s one of the best leaders I’ve been with. As a teammate wise, one of the best teammates I’ve ever played with. Utah has one heck of a player and their going to be very happy with who they got.
Reporter: Do you have an All-Star Game as one of your goals?
Towns: No, whatever happened last year, happened last year. That’s up to you guys to talk about and write articles about. But what I know for a fact is what I can control and making sure I put our team in the best possible situation to be in the playoffs and have a great playoff seed, too. This year I have high expectations, I have the experience . . . I put the time in. Now it’s time to execute.
Ratke: With an offseason like this, obviously so busy, new players come in. You see some friends, and you mentioned Ricky along with Zach and Kris, for you, what has that been like?
Towns: It’s different. When you come into the league, you have these kinds of friends and you build these kinds of bonds. It’s very hard to go through something like this, but again, I just got more experience of going through stuff like this. Weirdly enough I feel different because basketball nowadays, you’re playing with so many different players at so many different times. AAU especially. You’re playing with one team, you’re playing with another team next week. You always have to understand how to adjust to new players, new personalities and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to learn like that. Going into this season, I needed all that experience. Everything’s been going great.
John Meyer (Canis Hoopus): How was the time off this summer? Did you take some time for yourself?
Towns: I definitely did. Definitely a different offseason than I’ve had. More just taking time for myself. I love the game of basketball so much, but I think the smartest thing I did this offseason was take time back and understand the goals I had for myself and understand what I needed to do and attack appropriately. Not pound my body so much and have so much pressure on myself, but instead enjoying some time with my family, enjoying some time out the country. Really doing things that I should reward myself to do.
Reporter: Has Kevin Garnett still been a mentor for you?
Towns: He’s still mentoring me. Whenever I have questions, I always know he’s on speed dial. He always answers the phone. I’m blessed to have a person like him be my mentor. Be my brother, more importantly. It’s amazing to definitely have a person like him on my side.