In late June, with the excitement of the Timberwolves’ acquisition of All-Star guard Jimmy Butler setting in, Karl-Anthony Towns blurted some excessive enthusiasm. With Butler on board, plus Towns, former No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins and new point guard Jeff Teague, Towns said, This is what dynasties are made of.
But, weeks later, Towns was ready to clarify he did not mean to say the Timberwolves, who have not been to the postseason since 2004, already qualify as a dynasty.
I think it is way too early for that, Towns said. The Golden State Warriors, that is a dynasty. What the Spurs have had is a dynasty. Cleveland, because they’ve gone to the Finals and won a championship. It’s a goal we should set for ourselves, but I think it is too soon.
Unbelievable, Towns said. For his ability to have $57 million in the bank yearly is something special, but it speaks to the popularity of the NBA, how well it is doing. I am so fortunate to be part of the league at this time, not just because it is lucrative, but because it is at its strongest point, the best foundation that has been built by the NBA and the players who came before us.
Another topic of conversation and contention this offseason has been that of resting players. It came to a head last year when the trend increased league-wide. Greg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs have done it for years, and more ‘DNP-Rest’ appeared in box scores in 2016-17 with other coaches trying to find a respite for their big-name players.
The NBA is perhaps more in-tune with catering to the desires of its fans and paying attention to the quality of its in-game product than any other North American league. It took measures this summer such as changing its rules regarding timeouts, the ones that turn the final two minutes of a game into a two-hour production. ESPN’s Zach Lowe also reported the league was trying to alter the schedule to get teams playing in marquee, national games a day of rest prior to the matchup. It’s clear that when all eyes are watching, the NBA wants to be putting forth its best product.
As to whether there is any tension between James and Irving, Jefferson said that couldn’t be further from the case.