Timberwolves Press Conferences Are TV’s Best Buddy Comedy

Photo: Bleacher Report via YouTube

It’s a premise befitting a new Bill Lawrence sitcom: A middling sports team and its underachieving would-be star player are stuck in a rut, prompting team management to shake things up by drafting a cocky young player with a flashy game, penchant for shit talk, and boundless charisma. The players develop an unlikely rapport and, together, reverse their team’s fortunes. If you’ve watched any number of sports comedies, you can probably imagine it — or you can just tune in to the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose pairing of unsteady former No. 1 overall draft pick (Karl Anthony Towns) with shiny new hope (Anthony Edwards) has yielded some of the most electric moments of the NBA season. And by that, I’m referring to their post-game press conferences.

NBA pressers have a tendency to be staid: Players go through the motions responding to every question with non-answers about how they need to “continue to get better” simply because they’re contractually obligated to do media. Not so following Timberwolves games, owing to the effortless buddy-comedy chemistry between its two leads. Consider this perfect patter from the pair’s joint media availability following their game-seven upset over the defending champion Denver Nuggets on May 19:

Reporter: Usually in NBA history, it says you have to lose and lose big before you win. What is about this team that says —

Towns: We lost last year!

Reporter: But that’s different. You have to lose at a bigger stage. Usually.

Towns: It’s the playoffs. We lost last year!

Edwards: We lost the last two years, shit!

Towns: Goddamn! How much more we gotta lose?!

Edwards: How much you want us to lose?!

Towns: We’ve been losing for 20 years!

Edwards: I mean, that’s just the truth, dog.

Towns: Goddamn!

Prior to knocking off the Denver Nuggets, they swept the Phoenix Suns and their trio of superstars on April 28. That victory, too, was followed by a tour de force joint press conference headlined by Towns and Edwards’s breezy banter. After Edwards goes on a long, impassioned rant about how the team is unstoppable when Towns stays out of foul trouble because of Towns’s offensive dominance, Towns sheepishly chimes in that he was only fouling because he was “trying to play more defense.” Then, with pitch-perfect comic timing, Edwards cuts him off: “I mean, just stop fucking fouling.”

Modern NBA players are media trained within an inch of their lives and often forced to diligently answer inane questions that seek to find intellectual or philosophical explanations for why one team had the misfortune of shooting more poorly than the other. You just don’t see this sort of unguarded candor from players of Edwards and Towns’s stature. With their palpable joy, swagger, and intuition for playing off one another, they’ve elevated their press conferences to performance art full of viral moments, genuine camaraderie, and persuasive reasons for hopping aboard the Timberwolves bandwagon. Tonight, Minnesota will begin its Western Conference Finals series against the Dallas Mavericks, representing the furthest that the Timberwolves have made it in the postseason since 2004. Whatever happens in the game, you can count on the post-game presser — if Edwards and Towns are paired together — being must-see TV.

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