Karl-Anthony Towns on why he's still one of the NBA's best big men: 'I already know where I stand'

The Timberwolves center/forward spoke with Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill about the return of the big man, his role in Minnesota, his role in recruiting free agents and the growth of Anthony Edwards in his rookie season. Karl joined Yahoo Sports thanks to Mobil1 - who is encouraging fans to sign up for a chance to win a custom pair of sneakers designed by Mache. Enter the sweepstakes by visiting GoBehindTheDrive.com.

Video Transcript


VINCENT GOODWILL: Welcome here to Yahoo Sports. I'm Vincent Goodwill, NBA senior writer, here with Minnesota Timberwolves star, Karl-Anthony Towns. Karl is here with us on behalf of Mobil 1 for a promotion. First, Karl, just curious, this past season the two NBA MVP vote getters were centers, and usually that's not something that happens in today's game, where it becomes a little more smaller. Do you feel like your spot has become sort of like renaissance to whatever, where the big man is sort of coming back in vogue in the league?

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: I think that the big men are doing more than ever in the league. I think that the job that's asked for us as big men in the league has changed dramatically. And it's great. You know, we went from having mid-range be like the cornerstone of everyone's game and then now it's the 3-pointer. And now the big man is coming back. So there's a lot of things that are changing the league. The NBA landscape is changing ever so often.

VINCENT GOODWILL: Do you consider yourself in the same class as those guys? I guess the only difference will be they have more and more winning situations. But do you feel like you get kind of overlooked?

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: Oh, for sure, for sure, for sure, for sure. Even the question of asking if I'm in the same class, I-- [LAUGHS] that ain't never been a thought. So I already know where I stand. You know, most of those guys are in stable situations. You've been with the Timberwolves. You've consistently-- huh?

VINCENT GOODWILL: In an unstable situation.


VINCENT GOODWILL: Unstable situation-- changing coaches, changing front offices, changing teammates, are you at a point where you are just hoping for some stability, going into the veteran stage of your career?

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: Yeah, it would be great to have some stability, to have some understanding of where we're growing with the people we're trying to grow with. I just go out there and perform the best I possibly can for that-- for our team and our organization, and for my teammates as well and the fans, and I let the chips fall where they fall.

VINCENT GOODWILL: On that note, do you ever think about getting involved in the recruiting, or putting your two cents in to the front office about players who they might want to get involved with, players you might want to play with? Do you get involved in that, or do you just try to stay in your quote, unquote, "lane," even though you are the franchise guy and so many players get involved in that type of thing nowadays?

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: I think it's a two-way street. I like to let people do their job, but I also understand that sometimes a person who knows the best about players and about what the team truly needs is the person on the court. So I'm going to give you the answer of that. I'm going to keep doing what I can do, you know, whatever I personally can do, I'll do it, especially if it leads to winning.

VINCENT GOODWILL: You had Anthony Edwards come in as the number one pick, the rookie of the year. He's vocal. He's eccentric. He's got a different type of personality. What was that like last year, sort of helping him through, watching him go to the league for the first time?

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: Yeah, you know, I think the biggest thing I always told Ant is to be himself. You know, you don't ever have to mold yourself or change yourself to meet people's expectations. And he's so good. The thing that made him jump from where he was before All-Star break to after All-Star break was he kept the game simple. And when he did that, he took off, and he started averaging the way-- he was averaging 20-plus points. He should have been rookie of the year. I'll say that again and again, so.

It is what it is. All I know is when I missed a third of the season, I didn't get nothing. So I know for a fact he should have got something.

VINCENT GOODWILL: You're here with us on behalf of Mobil 1. You're going to offer the fans the opportunity to win some incredible, exclusive prizes. Tell us a little bit about that.

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: Man, it's crazy. You know, Mobil 1 and me, we partnered up this summer, and it was an amazing partnership, may I add. And we're giving the fans a chance to win such amazing gifts that are super rare and come once in a lifetime. And with the Behind the Drive campaign, really giving fans insight into what drives me, what, in essence-- no pun intended-- gives me the gas to go out there every single day and play at this level, and also give them a chance to get some really cool gear and some stylish things.

VINCENT GOODWILL: Well, you're going to have some custom Mobile 1 sneakers, designed by the sneaker artist, Mache. The shoes are extremely rare, only four in existence.

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: Yeah. Yes, there's only four in existence. Fans get a chance to win the shoes. All they got to do is go to behindthedrive.com and sign up. And I would love to get the pictures of the winners, too. I would love to get it.

VINCENT GOODWILL: Karl, thank you so much for joining us this afternoon, man. Good luck this year.

KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: Thank you so much.