Friday's game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves did not occur due to a positive COVID-19 test and the contact tracing that followed. Karl-Anthony Towns, a member of the Timberwolves, revealed the same day that he had tested positive. His announcement comes nearly a year after his mother passed away due to coronavirus complications.
"Prior to tonight's game, I received yet another awful call that I tested positive for COVID," Towns wrote in a statement. "I will immediately isolate and follow every protocol. I pray every day that this nightmare of a virus will subside and I beg everyone to continue to take it seriously by taking all of the necessary precautions. We cannot stop the spread of this virus alone; it must be a group effort by all of us. It breaks my heart that my family, and particularly my father and sister, continue to suffer from the anxiety that comes along with this diagnosis as we know all too well what the end result could be."
Towns' mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns, passed away in April at the age of 58 from complications caused by the coronavirus. The NBA player later revealed that six other family members had also died due to the disease. "To my niece and nephew, Jolani and Max, I promise you I will not end up in a box next to grandma and I will beat this," Towns wrote in closing.
The NBA star previously spoke about his mother's death and how it would impact his life moving forward. He met with reporters following a double-double during the season-opening victory over the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 23. Towns dedicated the game ball to his mother and said that he only understands what happens from April 13th on.
Specifically, Towns explained during the interview that "you may see me smiling and stuff, but that Karl died on April 13. He's never coming back; I don't remember that man. You're talking to the physical me, but my soul has been killed off a long time ago."
Before the season, Towns explained that his mother was always at his games. He would see her by the baseline or in the stands, and the sight would bring a smile to his face. Towns said that basketball would be hard to play without her in attendance, but the sport would allow him to "relive the good memories" he had.