flip-saunders-kevin-garnett

Flip Saunders, the head coach and President of Basketball Operations of the Minnesota Timberwolves died on Sunday. He was 60. The news was announced in a press release by the Timberwolves. Saunders was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in June and had been on leave from the team while he underwent treatment since August.

A noted mind for specializing in the development of point guards, Saunders biggest success with the arrival of Kevin Garnett to the Twin Cities in 1995. Garnett, under Saunders tutelage eventually became one of the greatest players in league history, culminating in winning league MVP honors in 2004.

Saunders spent 17 years as a head coach in the NBA, including stops in Detroit & Washington. He was best known as the head coach of the Timberbwolves, where he is the franchise’s all-time leader in wins and playoff appearances, leading the Wolves to the lone Western Conference Finals appearance in 2004. After being let go in 2005, Saunders moved on to Detroit where he led the Pistons to three consecutive appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals, falling short of the NBA Finals on all three occasions.

He returned to the Timberwolves in 2013 and assumed the role as President. He was undertaking a major rebuild for the franchise after trading away Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers and building around a young nucleus of Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, bringing back Garnett, the franchise’s most beloved player to mentor younger talent and No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Karl-Anthony Towns.

Saunders is survived by a wife and four children, including son Ryan, who is a Wolves assistant coach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.