The heartbreak Karl-Anthony Towns carried with him last NBA season after his mother’s death due to COVID-19 in April 2020 became exacerbated by his own infection with the virus roughly nine months later.
“I’m a high-risk case,” Towns said in February. “COVID did not treat me well whatsoever. A lot of scary nights.”
While Towns said shortly after his recovery he was concerned because of negative vital signs, the Minnesota Timberwolves big man recently told Sports Illustrated that he lost 50 pounds during the ordeal that kept him out from Jan. 15, the day he tested positive, to Feb. 10. The 2015 No. 1 overall pick also opened up about the grief he dealt after the death of Jacqueline Towns.
“I’ve had a lot of situations this year where things were just too much for me,” Towns says. “I just remember (quarantining) in the house, and it was more than just COVID for me. I felt like I was going through a holistic journey.”
Towns revealed he suffered a panic attack while sidelined for a game in Cleveland. He said he and his father, Karl-Anthony Towns Sr., discussed a leave of absence plan. But the 2015-16 Rookie of the Year kept playing.
“I felt like everything was an open-ended sentence, you know? There was no closure,” he told Sports Illustrated. “There was no period at the end.”
In five NBA seasons (85 games total the last two), Towns has averaged a double-double. His 48.6 field goal percentage from last season was the worst of his career.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.