Karl-Anthony Towns Missed His First Basketball Game Since Middle School

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Karl-Anthony Towns has legendary durability. In fact, when you consider how often athletes get hurt and the rise of rest days for some of the game’s top players, it’s amazing that Towns had never missed a game in his NBA career until Friday night, when the Minnesota Timberwolves took on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Towns was in a car accident in New York early on Friday, and initial reports indicated it was unlikely he would play. Before Friday night’s game, Towns was officially ruled out, and the Timberwolves said that the team would put him in the NBA’s concussion protocol. If Towns were to miss some time, it would be very strange for Timberwolves fans who have grown accustomed to seeing KAT on the floor.

But it’s strange to basically anyone who has ever seen Towns play, including in college and even during his high school playing days. As many pointed out when the news spread that KAT would be out of action on Friday, it’s been an extremely long time since the forward has missed a game.

His NBA streak is certainly impressive, but it goes well past his NBA career and even his season at Kentucky. According to Jace Frederick of the Pioneer Press back in 2018, Towns only missed a game in middle school because he wanted to play baseball instead.

By Towns’ count, he hasn’t missed a basketball game since middle school, when he skipped a game to play for his baseball team.

“I don’t know,” Towns said about his durability, “I pray every night and knock on wood a lot and I eat my greens.”

It’s an incredible run that is now over, unfortunately. But we’ll always know when his streak finally came to an end: on a Friday night at MSG against an underwhelming Knicks team.