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Excellence and resilience: The rebirth of Karl-Anthony Towns

Not many things went right for Karl-Anthony Towns between the summer of 2022 and the early fall of 2023.

Enough things went wrong, in fact, that it's probably easiest to recap with a point-by-point summary:

The Wolves traded for Rudy Gobert about 18 months ago, a move that pushed Towns from center to power forward — a decision he would later describe as an "adjustment" and "definitely something I wasn't ready for."Towns got sick before the start of last season, then got off to a clunky start with Gobert, then was injured for two-thirds of the season with a calf strain.He came back late in the regular season and had an uneven performance in the playoffs as the No. 8 seeded Wolves were dispatched in five games by Denver.Towns heard Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly say that young star Anthony Edwards was the player the Wolves must keep in mind with all future moves.He went on multiple podcasts and said curious things, was the subject of various offseason trade rumblings, appeared at Wolves day and was unusually quiet, then got off to a slow start even as the Wolves excelled this year.

All of that serves as a rather dramatic preamble to what happened Thursday: KAT was named a Western Conference All-Star for the fourth time, validating his place among the NBA's elite, cementing his importance to the Wolves and changing the narrative the last year-and-a-half.

I talked about all of that on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast.

We can quibble over whether Rudy Gobert was more deserving than Towns when it came to joining the one slam dunk Wolves All Star (Edwards) at this year's game, but Towns' overall excellence this season cannot be ignored.

He's been a mix of efficient and selfless, averaging 22.7 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting a career-best 44.3% from three-point range. Towns has been an alpha when the Wolves needed it while also being willing and able to blend in or let Edwards take over.

As someone who has been at the forefront of either criticizing Towns' play outright, advocating that he be traded or at least wondering if he is the logical odd man out when the Wolves run into a salary cap decision after this season, I felt like this needed to be acknowledged.

We still don't know what the future will bring, but in the present KAT is worthy of his honor and his status as a star on one of the league's best teams.

Here are four more things to know today:

Marcus Fuller joined Friday's podcast to talk about the Gophers men's basketball team's upcoming opportunity and his recent story about St. Thomas.Jim Harbaugh wants to live in an RV for a while, and I'm cool with that.How is Taylor Swift going to make it to the Super Bowl while she tours in Japan? She's going to time travel.LeBron James won't be traded, his agent said.