Sam Mitchell raves about coaching Karl-Anthony Towns
Saunders passed away around a month later and Mitchell became the official head coach until April 2016, when he was replaced by Tom Thibodeau.
Mitchell may have led the team to the fifth worst record in the league, but he had an opportunity to work with a roster filled with youth talent. Karl-Anthony Towns, one of the team’s young stars, was an absolute pleasure for Mitchell to coach as he revealed in an interview with Jonathan Abrams of Bleacher Report:
“The thing that I enjoyed coaching about Karl is that the more you gave him, the more he could handle,” Mitchell said. “My attitude with Karl was the more you show me of the things that you can do, then I’m going to give you more. It was easy coaching Karl, because he has such a high basketball IQ. He loves playing. That’s the first thing—he loves it. And then he wants to be special.”
Towns’ willingness to learn absolutely paid off as the 20-year-old averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists during his rookie season.
Mitchell now works as the head coach of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ national team.