If I had my way, every day on KSR would be Karl Towns Day, but today certainly feels like it. First, we found out Karl was on the regional cover of Sports Illustrated and then we saw quite possibly the best baby picture ever, and now, we have an extra special treat for you guys: Ian O’Connor’s excellent profile of Karl for ESPN.
O’Connor covers a lot a lot of familiar ground: Karl’s big heart, his work ethic, and the time he gave one of his shoes to paralyzed UK super fan Matt Bunk after the Florida game. O’Connor’s piece focuses on Karl’s remarkable kindness, a trait which will make even the biggest Kentucky hater fall in love with him. Here are two of my favorite paragraphs:
Jacqueline said her son forever gravitated toward kids who were considered outsiders, kids who might not have felt wanted or comfortable in social or classroom settings, “because Karl was also the outsider when he was younger. He was too tall, his feet were too big, he didn’t fit into his desk, and sometimes kids can be cruel.”
Jacqueline laughed when recalling the time she asked Karl-Anthony if she could quit her job at the behavior health hospital at Rutgers after he made his NBA millions, only for her son to express concern for the patients who might need her continued help. But truth is, Karl-Anthony is always looking out for his mother. When Jacqueline’s father died, Karl-Anthony brought her a gift in a box — new sunglasses for the funeral. “I know you’ve been crying a lot,” he told his mother. “I thought you would need these.”
Actually, Karl, I need those right now. Go read the rest and bring some sunglasses and tissues with you.