The space and pace big man made an emphatic statement in regard to how the NBA game will look in the future during 2022 NBA All-Star weekend in Cleveland.
Karl-Anthony Towns won the MTN Dew 3-Point Contest on All-Star Saturday, becoming the third big man ever to win the competition, out-stroking some of the game’s most prolific shooters, including guards Trae Young and Luke Kennard in a 29-point final round explosion.
Towns fancies himself one of the best shooters in the game, and the supreme shooting big man, which isn’t a stretch because he’s currently 23rd in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage (40.9 percent) and he’s the only center in the Top 50 in that category.
It should have been a great night for him and another accolade in the 26-year-old’s All-Star career.
KAT had a part of his mom with him as he won the 3-PT contest 💙
— ESPN (@espn) February 20, 2022
However, the good vibes turned a bit sour after KAT went to social media and got cocky, tweeting, “I told ya…”
There was a backlash from fans who tried to steal his joy with a barrage of attacks.
One Twitter user accused him of contributing to the “participation award” culture.
You acting like you won a championship fam. Aint nobody care about these awards anymore, win a mvp, a championship, matter of fact make the 2 round of the playoffs. Today’s kids care way to much for participation awarss.
— V-Money DeeJay (@VMoneyDeeJay) February 20, 2022
Another mentioned the shooters who didn’t participate as a knock against the quality of Towns’ competition pool.
Bro calm down when curry there and klay there next year don’t back down and run from the smoke 😂🤣🤣😂🤣🤣
— Peter Parisi (@peterthegoat23) February 20, 2022
One fan took a shot at the fact that KAT’s been to one playoff round in seven years, despite averaging 23.1 ppg and 11.4 rpg for his career.
Make the playoffs
— Bam Slam (37-21) (@YungBansMan) February 20, 2022
He did get a lot of support from the 25-and-under basketball faithful.
— Shamus (@ShamusNBA) February 20, 2022
BEST SHOOTING BIG OF ALL TIME pic.twitter.com/3V8sAgTAne
— Corey (@cashcorey15) February 20, 2022
KAT’s post came about an hour after the Timberwolves anointed him “The Greatest Shooting Big Man Ever.” That post rubbed a lot of basketball veterans the wrong way.
Out came a barrage of Dirk Nowitzki posts, as most basketball fans not born in the past 10 years understand that the German is clearly the best-shooting big of all-time. He revolutionized expectations for 7-footers and was largely responsible for expanding the perimeter game for players of his size who were traditionally confined to the paint.
The Timberwolves’ post was cocky, but any discussion of leapfrogging the great Dirk Nowitzki when it comes to 7-foot shooters is a bit ambitious at this point.
Y’all know we have access to the same internet, right? That we can do a simple Google search and find that Dirk is the greatest shooting big man in history.
— ally-oops (@Allison_MFFL) February 20, 2022
— Tony VA (@Tony_VA_) February 20, 2022
Honestly, KAT’s ambitions should be a bit higher at this point. Not that he shouldn’t bring a competitive spirit to All-star Weekend, but the fact that he takes so much pride in shooting threes, instead of all of the things you really need your “big” to do is probably a solid indicator as to why his Minnesota’s teams are traditionally average to below average.
The franchise has been to the playoffs once since the 2004-05 season. The T’Wolves are a respectable 31-28 this season and currently in the seventh seed in the West.
It’s not debatable that KAT has one of the purest shots for a guy his size in NBA history. It’s also undebatable that his style of play leaves something to be desired when the game calls for high percentage shots and traditional center play.
Let’s not forget Towns isn’t afraid to criticize other players on social, so he’s used to drama and will tweet what’s on his mind, even if it violates the NBA “bro code.”
As far as him being a better shooter than Dirk — who single-handedly defeated LeBron James and Miami’s Big Three to win the franchise’s only NBA championship — we’ll just chalk it up as another crazy comment that stirs social media and gets people’s blood flowing. Minnesota doesn’t win much, so the franchise was feeling itself in the aftermath of KAT’s All-Star Weekend 3-point exhibition. Understandable.
At the end of the day, social media wars such as the KAT-Dirk Nowitzki comparisons keep the NBA relevant despite a lackluster All-Star weekend and a forgettable Slam Dunk Contest.
More news from our partners: