Karl-Anthony Towns tells WCCO previous staff culture was a 'slap in the face'

Cover Image

Karl-Anthony Towns' ripped the staff culture under previous coach Tom Thibodeau and praised hiring of Ryan Saunders as well as the team's front office during an exclusive interview Thursday. 

"I think that I'm very blessed that I have a great front office. I have a great coaching staff," Towns told  WCCO's Cory Hepola during a live interview at his summer camp.  "We think we have the best coaching staff possibly in the game right now from a talent, experience and just culture standpoint. And the culture we're building here is something special. So I'm a very happy.  I'm very glad now we're introducing Culver and Noel to a culture that we possess now. You know, I don't think the situation before it would've been very beneficial for them.

While clearly referencing the Tom Thibodeau lead Timberwolves, Towns talked about how he felt it held back the development of the players.  

"And that's a disrespect and a slap in the face to their development, you know, and I want to make sure that they develop not only as players, but as human beings and as men. And, uh, you know, that's what we're here to do. And in Minnesota, the thing, one of the biggest things where Ryan and with me is like, we have to make sure our culture is not based on just basketball. This is a family atmosphere. Everything we do here in Minnesota has to be able to have a family. A family backing and a family thought process. And building people's personalities, characters and showing them more of themselves. And you're more than basketball."

When talking about Saunders, Towns had high praise for the young coach.  

"I felt it was more of a no-brainer", said Towns.  "You know, the talent he possesses as a coach and as a motivator and as a communicator. I think he's the best communicator in all the NBA."

The Wolves also pursued a friend of Towns and free agent, D’Angelo Russell.  Russell ended up signing with Golden State, but Towns feels good about where the team is in it's pursuit of new players.  

"I think that what the Wolves fans are seeing though now is that people, they felt that were untouchable, people that they thought were never would to think of us are thinking", said Towns. "And that's because of, you know, our front office being so great...  everybody, and our coach Ryan Saunders. I'm telling these players and for the players to see a person they really want to play for.  It's just another testament to the talent that we had, we possessed as a team. "

Listen to the full interview with Karl-Anthony Towns and Cory Hepola here.