He played his first official game since his mother died in April due to the complications of COVID-19, an emotional, reflective game Karl Anthony Cities went from the yard to the Minnesota Timberwolves‘Season opening win with the ball under his arm.
The cities said he would give the cue ball to his father to stand next to his mother in their family home.
“I’m just glad I got this for her,” Towns said. “I told her I wanted to bring her this win and her this ball, so I’m just glad I can do it.”
Towns’ mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, died on April 13, aged 59, after dealing with the virus for a month. Towns called the game “difficult” and when asked how he has changed mentally this year he said he was essentially a new person.
“I don’t even recognize most of my other games and years I’ve played and how I felt then,” he said. “If I can be honest with you for a second, I mean I don’t really remember or really care.
“I only know what happened on April 13th. Because you can maybe smile and see me like that, but that Karl died on April 13th. He’s never coming back. I don’t remember this man. I know this man Man no, you I speak to the physical me, but my soul was killed a long time ago.
“I would like to answer your question,” he continued, “but I do not know this man whom you are talking about from April 13th or earlier. I do not remember any part of him.”
Towns, 25, grew up in a close family and was very close to his mother. He said he was trying to channel his feelings of her death and find “another source of strength”. He was transparent about his devastation and published an 18-minute mini documentary on YouTube entitled “The Hardest Year of My Life” in early November.
But he said he did his best to focus on Wednesday’s game and played a key role in leading the Wolves to a comeback win. The cities scored 22 points with 11 rebounds and 7 assists.
“No matter how bad my situation is, how bad my life is, I will continue to be here for these people,” said Towns. “I’ll let them see me smile even though I’m not smiling at all inside. I owe that to these guys as leaders, I owe that to them as teammates.”