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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.

It's clear that Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns wants to be perceived in that latter fashion. And his actions reinforce his words.

"A lot of people in my position, you know, they get to this spot with their second contract and they're looking to get a ring — the easiest ring around the league," Towns said on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast. "I wanted to take the harder route. I wanted to be loyal to the people who brought me into this league and gave me a chance to prove my worth. I wanted to win here."

Towns said those words Friday after a news conference to discuss his four-year, $224 million contract extension. While it's true the Wolves could offer him more money than other teams, players like Durant and Anthony Davis have spurned those larger paydays to sign with other teams in pursuit of a quicker path to a title (ultimately, in both cases, winning at least one).

As recently as a year ago, it was logical to wonder if Towns would follow suit. The Wolves had made the playoffs just once since he came into the league in 2015 and they were coming off a disjointed 23-49 season.

Even now, after a 46-win season and a competitive playoff series, the path to a title in Minnesota has more potholes than other possible routes Towns could have taken.

And yet there seems to be a sincerity — naive or not — when Towns declares "championship or bust" as he talks about the Wolves after the addition of Rudy Gobert and with other key pieces in place.

Towns at least seems to know the obstacles — and to be more than OK with the path ahead.

"Continuity comes with unity, comes with time. We don't have that kind of time so we're going to have to rush that up and find ways to know the little nuances of each other," Towns said of a roster with a lot of promise but also a lot of changes. "A lot of wins we had this year in those 46 were because we were so connected as a group. We found ourselves winning on pure chemistry. We have to figure that out quick. They never said the job was going to be easy, but they definitely said it was going to be worth it."