It’s been two years since Timberwolves icon Flip Saunders, then the franchise’s president of basketball operations, passed away from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The man’s impact on the organization is still felt to this day, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes.
Saunders played a vital role in the club’s recent return to relevance both from a business and personnel perspective. The celebrated executive’s touch can be seen at all levels of the organization from the new practice facility that Saunders helped design to the transactions he made in the wake of David Kahn‘s time at the helm from 2009 to 2013.
Saunders remains the only head coach in franchise history to lead the team to the playoffs, having done so eight times from 1997-2004 during his first run with the franchise. Since 2006, the team has cracked a .400 win percentage only once.
“I made a promise to Flip Saunders that we would win and end the playoff drought,” current franchise cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns said on the media day of his rookie season shortly before Saunders passed. “And I intend to keep that promise.”
There’s more from around the league:
- Former NBA player Ben Gordon has run into trouble with the law, Jonathan Bandler of The Journal News writes. The 34-year-old wasn’t ultimately charged following a confrontation between himself and a woman at his business but police were called to the scene and he was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation.
- The journey into the business world continues for Kobe Bryant. As Darren Rovell of ESPN writes, Bryant has approached his investments with the same obsessiveness that he did his NBA career.
- Retired NBA guard Pablo Prigioni is stepping down from his role as the head coach of Liga ACB team Baskonia, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando writes. The team has gotten off to a rocky start and it’s said that Prigioni has lost control of the situation.