It Appears That Jimmy Butler Has Coaxed The Competitiveness Out Of Karl-Anthony Towns, As He Won His Race To The Bench After Air-Balling A Three
You know, Karl-Anthony Towns might have the apathetic look of a player who couldn't possibly care less about putting a hitch in his giddy-up so as to not be years late for the meeting between his effort and his potential, but he sure does know how to support a teammate! Not sure "KAT has far more skill than he does guts" is the point he should want to help prove, but I'd bet you that Jimmy Butler is wholeheartedly appreciative of having his full-blown emasculation of a franchise justified by a shameless surrender from its most talented player.
To be fair, things can't currently be all that copacetic in the Timberwolves' locker room. Jimmy Butler did everything short of punching a couple teammates in the teeth when he challenged them to step their game up by strongly suggesting that they are both softer and easier to rip into than the toilet paper on the team plane. While hilarious, I'm not sure that's the best way to form a cohesive culture that inspires effort and makes better a team he's actively trying to leave.
That said, there's two ways to respond to getting pushed around, and I think we can all agree that air-balling a three-pointer then sulking off the floor after asking your way out of a close game in the late stages of the 3rd quarter is an example of the one you desperately don't want your franchise cornerstone to choose. Karl-Anthony Towns is definitely in a bad situation, but - as the T'Wolves announcer was all-too-quick to note - he's making it far, far worse by playing with the small nibble of a bite that made Jimmy Butler bark in the first place.