Late Friday afternoon, a few hours before the Minnesota Timberwolves were scheduled to tip off for the second time this week against the Memphis Grizzlies, The Athletic’s Sham Charania announced the game would be postponed:
The postponement was obviously related to some sort of positive test for COVID-19, and just a short 30 minutes later, Karl-Anthony Towns announced via Twitter that he had tested posted for the virus:
First thing’s first — this is absolutely gutting. There are very few people in this country and on this Earth that have been affected more by the COVID-19 pandemic than Towns and his family, and for him to now test positive is a truly devastating blow.
Forget the postponement of the game, the prolonged absence the team will now face without Towns in the lineup, the future draft pick discussion — forget all of that shit. That last sentence in Towns’ post is one of the most powerful things I have ever read in my life:
“To my niece and nephew, Jolani and Max, I promise you I will not end up in a box next to grandma and I will beat this.”
I truly have no words. As you know, Towns announced earlier this season during media availability that he had lost seven family members to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the entire situation had hardened him and essentially taken his soul. For Karl to now test positive for that same virus, for his family to now have to endure the same anxiety they did last summer, for his niece and nephew to have to worry that their beloved uncle may become another statistic — all that shit puts basketball, blogging, and whatever the hell else I do in my life into true perspective.
As it pertains to the NBA (for whatever that’s worth) — something needs to change and it needs to change quickly. “Enhancing protocols” by not allowing players to shake hands after a game isn’t going to cut it. The contact tracing right now in the league is far below where it needs to be, and as more and more teams across the league begin to have outbreaks (it was reported earlier on Friday that the Washington Wizards — a Wolves opponent from just over a week ago — currently have six players who have tested positive) the league must address how they can clamp down on this immediately or be faced with no other option than to pause the season.
Many of you know this by now, but whether it be here at Canis covering the Wolves and Lynx or in my day-to-day life, I pride myself on being optimistic. I am truly optimistic that Karl-Anthony Towns — one of the toughest and most strong-willed humans on this Earth — will survive and overcome this. I am also optimistic that we as a nation will be able to eventually overcome this, but I do sincerely ask that you continue to do your part by wearing a mask, social distancing when possible, and taking care of yourselves and your loved ones until we see a brighter light at the end of the tunnel.
For now, all positive vibes, energy, and thoughts go out to not only Karl and his family, but everyone else currently affected by COVID-19.
Be well, stay safe, and have a great weekend.