Karl-Anthony Towns teammates are helping him get through this difficult time he has faced, losing seven family members to coronavirus. On Tuesday, Dec. 15, Towns spoke out about his return to training camp and the support he received from his teammates. The two-time All-Star admitted that this season would be different because his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, would not be on the sideline. Unfortunately, back in April, she became Towns’ first close family member to die from complications of COVID-19.
“It always brought a smile for me when I saw my mom at the baseline and in the stands and stuff and having a good time watching me play. It’s going to be hard to play. It’s going to be difficult to say that this is therapy,” said Towns.
Towns’ latest remarks come just days after the Timberwolves’ first game of the pre-season over the weekend. During the pregame introductions, Towns struggled to gain his composure, but his teammates were there to support him. According to Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Timberwolves point guard, Ricky Rubio, admitted that he understands just how his teammate feels.
“It’s tough. Everybody goes through it in different ways,” said Rubio, who lost his mother to lung cancer back in 2016. “Of course, the first game after somebody you love and care about is gone, it’s super tough. You know their support and you know they are watching and they’re not here anymore.”
Rubio added, “He has to go through the pain, the ups and downs, and it will happen through the course of the season. We just have to be there for our teammate, understand the situation and just have his back. We know how much he cares about the game, but of course, there’s something bigger than that. And we’re just going to be there for him.”