Flip Saunders heard from one coach after another that the idea of not having Kevin Love on the Minnesota Timberwolves was scaring potential head coaches away. Flip did the only thing he felt would fix the problem: He named himself the new head coach.
Saunders has been the team’s general manager for the last several years and now he will take on a new role. Though Flip is new to this iteration of the Timberwolves, he certainly isn’t new to coaching in the Twin Cities.
Saunders was the coach at Minnesota when the team finally went from league laughing stock to perennial playoff contender, thanks in large part to Kevin Garnett. It’s not a coincidence that the team is desperately trying to hold on to Kevin Love.
Flip Saunders knows that Love is this generation’s Garnett and he also knows it’s going to take a hell of a sell job in order to keep him with the ‘Wolves.
It appears Flip Saunders believes there may be no hope in keeping the talented power forward. USA Today is reporting that Saunders named himself the coach as a move independent of keeping Love.
Kevin has wanted out of Minnesota for quite a while now and, at this point, there may simply not be a way to keep him in the fold. Flip will try and make a bad situation better and then hope Love won’t move on after the summer of 2015.
Minnesota, in the mean time, will have to deal with the fallout of the guy who was leading the search committee deciding on himself. It happens more often than people would think in the NBA, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some people working against the Timberwolves who won’t use this situation to their own advantage.
CBS Sports reports the team had almost decided on Memphis Grizzlies head man Dave Joerger, but Joerger decided to stay with his own team. That seemed to be the final straw when it came to Flip Saunders picking himself.
It should be pointed out that while some people are going to meet this decision with derision. However, Flip Saunders has had a very successful run in the NBA. Over the course of his career, the coach has won 638 games and lost just 526.
In his 15 full seasons (not counting those where he was fired mid-year) his teams have missed the playoffs just three times.
It’s possible that Flip Saunders is the right man for the job when it comes to winning, though it’s yet to be seen whether he’s the right man to keep Kevin Love in town.
[Image via Bing]