Watch D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns Play One-on-One

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

We've fantasized about an NBA one-on-one tournament in this space before.

That's because it's rare to find two stars willing to risk both injury and shame by squaring off in arguably the purest form of playground ball.

And that's why whenever we actually do see NBA stars engage in a one-on-one matchup, no matter how low the stakes, we can't look away.

Like the time Kevin Garnett worked four NBA All-Stars—Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Steve Smith—in a row in one-on-one during a Team USA practice back in 2000.

Or the time Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal went from silly to serious in a heartbeat while squaring off before the 1996 All-Star Game.

Now it's two current rising stars' turn—D'Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns.

The pair, coming off impressive rookie seasons, went head-to-head for NBA 2K17, donning tights and those motion-capture balls while showing off their isolation skills.

Something tells me the game's creators told the players to make a James Harden-level commitment on defense.

In addition to some one-on-one, the two had themselves a bit of a dunkathon.

Afterward, instead of blueberry pancakes, the soon-to-be sophomores bonded over the video game—though it doesn't look like it was much of a fair fight.

Hopefully Towns made considerable in-game changes to the Timberwolves' roster to bump them up to the fifth-highest rated squad in the league.


Call it a Leak @nba2k @ronnie2k

A photo posted by Karl-Anthony Towns (@karltowns) on

I'm as hyped about the Tom Thibodeau-era Timberwolves as anyone, but let's not get ahead of ourselves—they were 29-53 last year.