With new leadership, the loss of Kevin Garnett to retirement and a talented young roster, the Minnesota Timberwolves have opened training camp. And the Wolves most visible star says it's OK for fans to have expectations of this team. He certainly does.
Karl-Anthony Towns enters his second season after a remarkable debut season and an NBA Rookie of the Year honor. Towns took his turn with the media prior to camp opening. Here are the five best quotes from Towns' session.
1. KAT ON KEVIN GARNETT
"He's (KG) a passionate, emotional guy and that's why we bonded so well...since day one when we first met. I always told him he could leave on his own terms and no matter what, I'll always be his little brother. I've always had his back and I always will have his back, no matter what happens."
2. KAT ON THE NEXT STEP AFTER KG
"We all as a team can do it. The intensity, passion, communication...the skills he (KG) has, we have to pick that up a unit. We've already had good (team) conversations for what we have to do."
3. KAT ON CONTROVERSY OVER FREEDOM OF SPEECH
"The greatest thing about being an American is freedom of speech. People are using their freedom of speech. For them, they are want to make their voices heard. For me, I live my life the best way I can, be the best role model I can. Everything right now...in the world...is they just want to be heard."
4. KAT ON WOLVES' PLAYOFF DROUGHT
"It bothers me. It truly bothers me. I'm tired of hearing about a drought, playoffs and everything here. What I can do to control that is come in everyday, work tremendously hard and do everything possible to help my teammates, help us, be the winning team we see ourselves being. Now, it's up to us to go out there and show the world how much better we've gotten this off-season. That's up to us now."
5. KAT ON PERSONAL GOALS
"Playoffs. This is a team sport and it's not based on one person. Michael Jordan doesn't win championships without the team he had. Everyone contributes. It doesn't matter what one person was able to do. I don't even come close to that (2015-16 NBA Rookie of the Year honor) without my teammates."
Towns expects to be even better than last season and is poised to do great things. As his mentor Kevin Garnett did. And as Timberwolves fans can't wait to see.
The T'Wolves open the regular season October 26 at Memphis.