HoopsHype Kurt Rambis rumors

July 13, 2011 Updates

So who will it be? Rick Adelman? (Actually that would make some of this bungling worthwhile.) Bernie Bickerstaff? J.B. Bickerstaff? Old Wolves Terry Porter or Sam Mitchell? Whoever Detroit doesn't hire? A college guy? "I wish this were an exact science," Kahn told reporters. "I think we will cast a wider net than a narrow net. ... I think it's important that we find somebody whose DNA is up-tempo." That rules out Mike Fratello, anyway. Kahn shot down the suggestion that the Wolves' organizational dysfunction would scare off viable candidates, mentioning "seven or eight calls today" from coaches interested in the job. There are, after all, just 30 of those jobs, compared to the hundreds of coaches who could gussy up their resumes and bank accounts by landing this one. Not that they would be the best choice to actually improve the team. NBA.com

Reggie Theus will likely be on the move once again. The Minnesota Timberwolves announced on Tuesday that head coach Kurt Rambis was fired after a 17-65 season meaning that Theus - the former head coach at New Mexico State and current Timberwolves assistant coach - will likely leave Minnesota as well. Theus has one year remaining on his contract with the Timberwolves. "They have not, at this point, let the staff go," Theus said. "As far as we know at the moment, we're status quo." Las Cruces Sun-News

July 12, 2011 Updates

The Minnesota Timberwolves fired Kurt Rambis on Tuesday, ending more than three months of uncertainty and awkwardness surrounding the head coach of the worst team in the NBA last season. Rambis was 32-132 in his brief stay in Minnesota, including 17-65 this past season. "I want to thank Kurt for his contributions to our franchise and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said in a statement issued by the team. "His arrival signaled we were serious about building a championship-contending ballclub over the course of time. We have accumulated a solid nucleus of young talent with a bright future during the last two years. I am hopeful Kurt receives his share of the credit for helping develop that talent and his contributions are not forgotten as we become a better basketball team." Houston Chronicle

"I'm grateful for the opportunity that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has given me," Rambis said in a statement given to The Associated Press. "During my years working with coaches Jackson, (Pat) Riley and (Cotton) Fitzsimmons, I learned all about the ups and downs of this sport. And today is one of the down days. "But I'm confident that my work — and the work of my staff — with our many young players over the last two years will begin to pay off for Mr. Taylor and Timberwolves fans. Now, as important new players are added to the mix, the future of this franchise should be a bright one, and I am thankful for the chance I had, to play a part in shaping that future." Houston Chronicle

The Minnesota Timberwolves have fired Kurt Rambis as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Wolves are expected to announce the dismissal early this afternoon, and general manager David Kahn may hold a news conference to discuss it. Yahoo! Sports

Two top candidates for the job include Portland assistant Bernie Bickerstaff and Milwaukee assistant Kelvin Sampson, league source told Yahoo! Sports. J.B. Bickerstaff, a T’wolves assistant, could be part of a succession plan with his father, Bernie. Yahoo! Sports

July 8, 2011 Updates

Kurt Rambis hasn’t coached a game for the Timberwolves in nearly three months. He will never coach a game for them again. Despite technically still being under contract, Rambis has been informed that he need not be in Minnesota for the offseason – and this was the case even before the lockout. Sources say only two members of the Wolves’ coaching staff, J.B. Bickerstaff and Darrick Martin, have been asked to come to work at the team’s offices this summer. Everyone else can, you know, go on vacation – where Rambis, in particular, won’t have to spend his days staring at the writing on the wall. Sources have said there is no provision in Rambis’ contract that would’ve saved the Wolves money by waiting until after July 1 to officially fire him. Rambis is owed $4 million over the next two seasons regardless of when he is fired. CBSSports.com

But as Yahoo! Sports reports, Kahn had other ideas. The possibility of offering Rambis a reassignment within the basketball operations department has been discussed internally, though it is not believed to have been formally proposed to Rambis. It is beyond question that Rambis has no desire to accept such an arrangement. Sources say the former Lakers assistant has little use for Kahn as a basketball executive, much less one that he would continue to work for after being removed as coach. Kahn’s mishandling of Rambis’ firing – which still, inexplicably, hasn’t happened – is an embarrassment for the organization at a time when good things finally were starting to happen (Michael Beasley's citation for marijuana possession notwithstanding). Ricky Rubio is signed for next season – whenever next season is – and although Kahn had virtually nothing to do with it, it’s nonetheless an important moment for a franchise that has won a grand total of 32 games the past two seasons. CBSSports.com

Funny, Taylor is one of the owners who are most convinced that the NBA will not have a 2011-12 season, according to sources familiar with his position on the lockout. So maybe Taylor could send Rambis overseas to scout overage potential draft picks in the meantime, instead of paying him to do something more useful – like nothing. While we’re on the topic, sources say the Wolves expect a favorable ruling from the NBA office that they will be able to keep No. 57 pick Tanguy Nbombo despite a dispute over his age. Though information has come to light that Ngombo is 26 – and thus ineligible for the draft – sources say the Wolves have government documentation from multiple entities that Ngombo is, in fact, 21. The belief among some executives is that a team should not be punished if government documentation is inaccurate. CBSSports.com

July 7, 2011 Updates

Still unable to simply fire a coach he’s determined is done with the Minnesota Timberwolves, general manager David Kahn recently proposed that Kurt Rambis accept a reassignment within the franchise’s front office, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday. Yahoo! Sports

The prospects of Rambis serving out the remaining two years and $4 million on his coaching deal so closely with Kahn in the front office holds little, if any, appeal to Rambis, sources said. Rambis has little respect for Kahn’s basketball acumen, and perhaps even less of a personal affinity for him. The two barely spoke over the final months of the regular season, and haven’t communicated much well into the offseason. Rambis has felt mistreated throughout the ongoing saga surrounding his future with the T’wolves, and prefers a finality to this endless public spectacle. Yahoo! Sports

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