MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns believes the NBA should permit the use of medicinal marijuana.
In an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, the 22-year-old Towns said he agrees with former NBA commissioner David Stern's stance that the drug should be removed from the league's banned-substance list.
Towns raised the issue when asked by an ESPN reporter what change he would make if he were in NBA commissioner Adam Silver's place.
Towns told reporters in Minnesota before Wednesday's game against San Antonio that his experiences working with autistic children and his research into the medicinal benefits of marijuana have helped shape his opinion.
He said he hoped to help erase the "bad stigma" about the drug, which he said he has never used.
On court, Towns had 26 points and 16 rebounds for Minnesota on the night he turned 22, and the Timberwolves stopped a 12-game losing streak to the Spurs with a 98-86 victory.
"The food will taste better tonight, and the laughter will be even more," said Towns, who vowed before the game in a conversation with coach Tom Thibodeau that the Wolves would finally stop their slide against the Spurs. Jeff Teague pitched in 16 points and six assists, and Nemanja Bjelica added 11 points off the bench as the Timberwolves put together one of their most complete performances with their fewest points allowed this season. "They're good. They're athletic. They're skilled, from top to bottom," said Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Wolves used a 13-3 fast-break scoring advantage to stave off the Spurs despite a minimal contribution from stars Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler, who shot a combined 6 for 24 from the floor. With strong on-the-ball pressure and quick recoveries and rotations on defense, the Wolves held the Spurs in check. Aldridge was in foul trouble after his 32-point game at Dallas the night before, finishing with a quiet 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Rudy Gay shot just 3 for 8 off the bench for seven points. Pau Gasol finished with an efficient 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists, but he had trouble keeping Towns away from the rim.
"I couldn't be more proud of everyone, as a group. We went out there, we said we needed stops, and we got the stops. Not just one, but multiple," Towns said. "That's just a sign of a team that's going very far."
(China Daily 11/17/2017 page22)