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Karl-Anthony Towns: 'I wanted to take the harder route'

Within a certain sporting opinion — and particularly a league like the NBA — winning a championship creates an instant if sometimes subconscious elevation of a player's status.

Perceptions of how that goal is achieved, though, can be altered and filtered by external circumstances. Players who choose, when given the chance, to play with the best team are often vilified as "ring chasers."

If you don't believe it, just read Kevin Durant's social media timeline.

On the flip side, there is a certain nobility ascribed to those who aspire to win more organically and don't mind the struggle along the way.