Towns, who played college basketball at Kentucky, had been rumored to be one of the top 2 picks, alongside Duke’s big man, Jahlil Okafor.
It was the first time picking 1st for the Wolves, and Towns admitted he didn’t know he was going to be picked first.
“When Mr. Adam Silver came out, I saw him, and he said, `with the No. 1 pick’, I was racing,” said Towns, who stands at 6’11”.
“I told Coach Cal before when he first came out that I was trying to drink the water and I was shaking uncontrollably, and I told him, `Coach, don’t give me the ball right now for the last-second shot. I wouldn’t make it.”‘
It was the 3rd time in the past 6 years that a player from Kentucky was the 1st overall pick, the other two being John Wall in 2010 and Anthony Davis in 2012.
Russell, who plays at the point-guard position, is expected to be the perfect support for the Lakers’ aging superstar, Kobe Bryant.
“This is home to me,” he said. “Been able to come here and have all my closest friends and love ones come out here. It’s the most special moments in my life,” Russell said after being drafted.
“Kobe’s a great dude,” Russell added. “Not knowing how much he has left in the tank is the scary thing. I’m really looking forward to him taking me under his wing if possible and feed me the most knowledge he can and use that as fire against my opponents.”
The Philadelphia 76ers, by benefit of the Lakers’ surprising move, snapped up Okafor with the 3rd pick, adding him to a potentially front court that includes Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid.