Fired by the Bulls in part because of conflicts with ma…

More on Minnesota Timberwolves Coach

When I talked to Thibodeau on the phone Thursday, he verified that he didn’t talk to the search firm hired by Wolves owner Glen Taylor until Wednesday. … He also said he was not going to hire any assistants until he visits with the current Wolves staff. All of the assistant coaches under him in his last year coaching the Bulls got NBA jobs after Thibodeau was fired. His 2014-2015 staff included Adrian Griffin (now with Orlando), Andy Greer (Toronto), Ed Pinckney (Denver) and Mike Wilhelm, the only assistant Fred Hoiberg, Thibodeau’s successor, kept with the Bulls.
Jared Dudley: My money on Thibs! - RT: R Fields: T-wolves still not making playoffs next year. Hard to improve 13-15 games on single season.
Marcin Gortat: agree. - RT: Jared Dudley: My money on Thibs!
"His teams have annually been among the league leaders in defense and we are excited about the approach and mentality he will bring to that side of the ball. The future of the Minnesota Timberwolves has never been brighter and we are very pleased to have Tom as our basketball operations leader moving forward,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor.
“Scott Layden brings over 30 years of experience in the NBA to his new role within our organization, including several years in basketball operations leadership positions with Utah, New York and most recently San Antonio. His decades of front office experience will be integral as we head into an extremely exciting time for our organization. In getting to know Scott, he has impressed me with his not only his basketball acumen, but also his character and integrity. Tom and Scott will work in concert together in shaping our roster moving forward. We are confident this partnership gives us the best chance possible of winning an NBA title.”
Tom Thibodeau always believed he could lure free agents to the Los Angeles Lakers, that the proper structure and vision still makes that franchise the ultimate superstar destination. Thibodeau always had his eyes on the most glamorous job in basketball, but the Lakers hesitated and missed the chance to recruit him.
LaMarcus Aldridge was dying for the Lakers to blow him away in a free-agent presentation on July 1 and left the room deflated over the parade of marketing and partnership suits that sold him on the residual impacts of playing for the Lakers. Had that been a Tom Thibodeau basketball presentation to Aldridge, there are those who believe Aldridge would’ve been swayed to sign there.
Andy Greder: Confirming #Twolves-Tom Thibodeau working on a contract, but doesn't sound like more news is imminent today, a source with knowledge said.
Thibodeau has a strong relationship with Timberwolves' legend Kevin Garnett, who plans to play another season with the team. Garnett has had aspirations of joining the team's ownership group upon retirement. Thibodeau and Garnett were part of Boston's 2008 NBA championship team.
Marc Stein: Sources say Wolves owner Glen Taylor has been eyeing Tom Thibodeau for months and, one week into the offseason, is landing his top target. Have criticized Glen Taylor often for being consistently indecisive ... can only applaud him now for how swiftly the Wolves have moved here.
Thibodeau emerged as the frontrunner in pursuit of the job in recent days, selling owner Glen Taylor on his vision of sustained success and playoff basketball in Minnesota, league sources said. Thibodeau has been drawn to the full control of the organization and the chance to coach a talented young core that includes rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Vincent Goodwill: Minny interviewed Mark Jackson yesterday, and there was no mention of him wanting both roles. Token? Checking a box?
KC Johnson: There's the playoff $ on which Bulls missed. This will offset the $4.5M Bulls owe Thibs, who lands premier gig. - RT: Adrian Wojnarowski: Tom Thibodeau is finalizing a five-year deal to become president and coach of the Timberwolves, league sources tell @TheVertical.
Marc Berman: According to Woj, Thibodeau-Scott Layden tandem could happen in Minnesota. Worked together with #Knicks. Layden still has place in Manhattan
Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy says the Minnesota Timberwolves are "very lucky" to be able to interview Jeff Van Gundy and former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau for their head-coaching vacancy. Stan, who is Jeff's brother and a friend of Thibodeau's, doesn't think the close friends are "competing" against one another for the job. ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein reported Monday that Jeff was expected to meet with the Timberwolves on Monday in regard to being both the coach and "face" of basketball operations. Thibodeau completed a similar interview over the weekend.
For his part, Stan doesn't seem surprised that Jeff hasn't coached a team in a while. Jeff last coached the Houston Rockets during the 2006-07 season. "I'm not surprised, because I talk to him all the time," Stan said. "If I was taking the long view of, say, the media, that doesn't know him and doesn't talk to him all the time, yeah, I probably would be surprised. "But he's got a great job. He has a great job, and it's great for him, it's great for his family. He's happy. So it would take a lot. He misses some things about coaching, but it would take a lot. If he takes a job, it's going to be one that he thinks was just a great, great, great situation. Way too good to turn down. He's not going to take anything marginal, I'll tell you that."
Darren Wolfson: Fascinating chat w/ Sam Mitchell. Podcast posts later. Praise for Dieng was off the charts. He's very open to being an ass't again. Should clarify on Mitchell because my wording might've been goofy: he's open to an ass't job anywhere. Also mentioned coaching in college.
Van Gundy's interview was arranged to be conducted Monday in Cleveland, where he called Sunday's Cavaliers-Pistons playoff game in Cleveland for ESPN.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves completed a similar interview over the weekend with former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who broke into NBA coaching as a Timberwolves assistant during their expansion season in 1989-90.
Thibodeau wants to have final say on player personnel, organizational philosophy and hirings, league sources said, and that’s only available with the Minnesota opening now.
Taylor is expected to be willing to pay a $7 million-a-year package to an elite candidate, comparable to Stan Van Gundy’s deal with Detroit, league sources said.
Brian Windhorst: Wolves will begin coaching search tomorrow & it won't include Sam Mitchell, sources said. On Wolves list is Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger
Among the five interim jobs, the Knicks (Kurt Rambis), Timberwolves (Sam Mitchell) and Suns (Earl Watson) are expected to give the incumbents strong looks, sources say. Barring something unforeseen, Tony Brown in Brooklyn and J.B. Bickerstaff in Houston will be moving on.
Sam Mitchell has the support of Wolves veteran Kevin Garnett, whose endorsement does have impact with owner Glen Taylor. Garnett is expected to eventually have an ownership stake in the team upon his retirement.
Darren Wolfson: #Twolves owner Glen Taylor is in NYC for an #NBA function. Said many people have come up to him saying how impressed they were last night. Taylor said Sam's future is all his call. But he'll talk to Milt/others. "Sooner the better" on a time-frame for a decision. #twolves
Taylor was asked if it would be difficult to fire the coaching staff and front office that has helped develop those players. “I like my coach [Sam Mitchell], I like my general manager [Milt Newton], they’re really nice people,” Taylor said. “We’re working together. What I told them is in this business of basketball, we’re going to do the whole season first and then at the end of the season we’ll do the evaluation.”
You don't see this every day: Kevin Garnett came over to the media after this morning's shootaround without being requested for an interview because, he said, he had some things to say before tonight's game against the Lakers in Los Angeles. Much of it was to express support for interim head coach and his former teammate, Sam Mitchell, and the direction the 14-35 Wolves are headed. "I feel real good about the progression of this team since Day 1 and I think it needs to be said and needs to be understood that I'm endorsing Sam Mitchell and our coaching staff and this organization," he said. "More importantly, I'm excited about our future. I'm excited about our young players. I feel like we're getting better. These last 10, 15 games, we've gotten better. You see it and I think that needs to be said. I think you all need to understand we're supportive around here."
"Just because I haven't done a lot of interviews and voiced my opinion on a lot of things," he told three of us media members gathered, "I want you guys to understand that not only do I endorse Sam Mitchell, but the other players do, too. We believe not only in him, but the system and what we're trying to do here. I think everybody needs to understand that. The transformation and what we're trying to do here is build something for the future and these are the first steps of that. I don't really come to you guys a lot and say two weeks, but I just want you guys to know that needs to be heard and said."
Mitchell said he can't be concerned with his job status. "It's bigger than me. And I learned that a long time ago," Mitchell said. "It may turn out that I'm here to see it (through). But it may turn out I'm not. The people in this league know there's a certain way we have to do this." The team is 2-3 after a miserable 1-13 stretch, and Mitchell likes what he sees. "There's no other team I'd rather coach right now," Mitchell said. "These young guys are turning into pros before our eyes."
"I talk to the players. I talk to the coaches," Glen Taylor said. "I'm glad that they're frustrated. I'm sure they're trying very hard in practice to improve their skills. I know they want to win. I'm confident that it's just going to be some game that we win against somebody that probably has a better team than us and it just kind of gets us going."
Taylor also said during an interview that Sam Mitchell, appointed as interim coach when Saunders was hospitalized, will direct the team this season. Milt Newton will have expanded duties as the team’s general manager. “Sometimes, positives can happen,” Taylor said. “In this particular case, let’s see what these people do, let’s see what their leadership is. Going through difficult times, maybe we’ll see people bloom into what they might not have been otherwise.”
Andy Greder: #Twolves will have "major announcement" during press conference Friday. Per @Adrian Wojnarowski, it's Sam Mitchell being named interim coach.
Storyline: Minnesota Timberwolves Coach
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August 1, 2021 | 1:11 am EDT Update

LeBron James hopes to retire a Laker

On a recent edition of the “Smartless,” podcast, James’ legendary father said he hopes to retire as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. “I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers,” James said on the podcast, according to CBS Sports. “However many years that is, if it’s four, five, six, whatever, seven. I hope I can continue to play the game. I love being in L.A., my family loves being in L.A. Being with a historical franchise like the Lakers is something … It’s like me being in ‘Space Jam’ — I never thought it would be possible. You think about Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), and Magic (Johnson), and Wilt (Chamberlin), and Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, Kobe (Bryant), (Shaquille O’Neal) and all of them. The whole list goes on.”
15 mins ago via

Abbott went through the details of the two’s public sparring on Twitter and the backlash he received before getting into the conversation with Lillard: “I published it and tweeted it, and then he like, retweeted it with the facepalm emoji, and then he talked to reporters and said that none of it was true. And then, I tweeted … after like a day of epic meltdown, everything in my mentions was a nightmare of people saying I’m a liar and making up stories, I’m bad at my job. And some of that just comes with the business. This was like a lot. I’ve been doing this for a long time. This was a lot. So, then I basically write what you just said Jarod. And then, Damian immediately replied to that saying he doesn’t lie. Then, he started direct messaging me and he’s in Tokyo at the Olympics, so we’re direct messaging, just like hammering away, trying to straighten it out. Then my phone rings and it’s Aaron Goodwin, who is Damian Lillard’s agent. I think I’ve known Aaron Goodwin longer than Damian has. Like, Aaron and I go way back. We’ve been through a lot of stuff, and I hold him in tremendously-high regards in a lot of ways.”
Storyline: Damian Lillard Trade?
Abbott said that he wouldn’t be transparent about everything he and Lillard discussed when he requested to speak with him. But, he did share a story of Lillard’s positive vibe, even in the middle of the discussion. “Most of what happened on the phone call I’m just not going to share. It’s private. It was Dame and I getting to know each other? Actually at one point, I will tell you this funny part. I’m like, you know, ‘This thing happened, this thing happened, Twitter’s like a warzone for me now, and it’s my birthday. And Aaron starts talking, everyone starts talking, and Dame’s just like, ‘Henry, Henry, Henry, happy birthday, man.’ I’m like ‘Thank you, Dame.’”
Outside of those anecdotes, Abbott said that he called the “Dream Team” of people who would know Lillard’s leverage and control, continually insisting that neither party lied. He noted that there’s only one way out of Portland in Lillard’s case, and it would be similar to James Harden, skipping training camp, having the front office question if he’s going to give 100 percent, etc. The link to the rest of the podcast, for those interested, can be found above.
Would DeRozan realistically consider a pay cut that steep this late in his career? Constructing a sign-and-trade is another avenue but also difficult. I’d be curious to see whether the Clippers would consider placing themselves under a hard cap that would be triggered by a sign-and-trade. BT: The Lakers need shooting. One name that is coming up is Patty Mills. He can shoot the lights out and would be great off the bench. Wayne Ellington is another shooter who has interest in rejoining the Lakers. Trevor Ariza and Andre Iguodala are veteran wings who are candidates.