Karl-Anthony Towns' NBA-record streak of 303 starts ended Saturday, but the All-Star forward made it clear to reporters that he was just "happy to be alive," given that he emerged relatively unscathed from a scary crash.
The car in which Towns, 23, was traveling Friday was stopped on a stretch of highway in Minneapolis because of a wreck in front of it. He said his car, a compact SUV, was then struck from behind by a semitruck he estimated to be traveling at 35 to 45 mph.
"I would say I had a 5 percent chance of making it out alive," Towns declared, before returning to action Monday in a home game against the Kings. "I hit the 5 percent mark. And then, I'd say 4 percent was to be seriously injured, and 1 percent was to be minorly injured. And I came out in the 1 percent, so it's not bad."
"It's been a blessed three days," he added, "just to be here talking to you all, to be able to do what I'm doing, is a blessing."
Towns missed road games against the Knicks and Bucks while in the NBA's concussion protocol. He said Timberwolves assistant strength and conditioning coach Kurt Joseph was driving during the crash, which "happened too quick" for Towns to worry about his safety.
A car had stopped in front of theirs, reacting to the crash ahead, causing the driver of Towns' car to do the same.
"It could have been much worse, and, in all honesty, probably should not have made it out like I did, but glad I did," he added. "It was pretty gnarly, I ain't gonna lie."
The crash remains under investigation, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, but a report by authorities stated that alcohol was not suspected to be a factor.
The Timberwolves' interim head coach, Ryan Saunders, noted that he has made a point to "talk a little bit more" than usual with Towns since the crash, saying, "You obviously want to make sure KAT the person is taken care of. That's definitely put ahead of KAT the basketball player."