Dane Moore: Ricky Rubio on the firing of Ryan Saunders: “A lot of emotions. Our record is what it is. Of course the timing was a little weird… We have attachments and emotions to everything. But we have to move on… I’m going to miss Ryan.”
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Like so many things in this woebegone franchise’s lackluster history, Ryan Saunders’ fairy tale turn as Timberwolves head coach proved to be exactly that. Saunders had known for several weeks that he was in trouble as the losses mounted, sources told The Athletic. Players openly wondered about Saunders’ job security and it only seemed to be a question of whether he would make it to the end of the season or not. The answer came not long after a 103-99 loss to the Knicks in New York on Sunday night in a meeting with Wolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas.
In the wake of considerable fan criticism of Saunders, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor had resisted calls to fire the coach while star Karl-Anthony Towns was out of the lineup with COVID-19. Taylor felt that Saunders deserved a chance to coach a team built almost entirely around Towns’ versatility before making such a big decision, sources said. But the Wolves were 1-7 since Towns returned Feb. 10, prompting Taylor to sign off on the move.
Shams Charania: The Minnesota Timberwolves are hiring Toronto Raptors assistant coach Chris Finch as the new head coach on multiyear contract, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Timberwolves asked permission to the Raptors on assistant coach Chris Finch and are proceeding on hiring him as head coach to replace Ryan Saunders, sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Hiring a coach off another staff during the season is uncommon, but Toronto wouldn’t stand in the way of Finch’s chance to become a head coach now. Finch had success as a G-League head coach, and has interviewed for several head coaching jobs in recent years.
“We would like to thank Ryan for his time and commitment to the Timberwolves organization and wish him the best in the future,” said Rosas. “These are difficult decisions to make, however this change is in the best interest of the organization’s short and long-term goals.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Minnesota Timberwolves have dismissed coach Ryan Saunders, sources tell ESPN.
Jon Krawczynski: The Timberwolves have fired Ryan Saunders, source tell @TheAthleticMIN
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Timberwolves won’t immediately name an interim coach tonight, sources said. Minnesota has dropped 24 of 31 games to start the season, leaving them with the worst record in the NBA.
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May 14, 2021 | 6:04 pm EDT Update
Jason Quick: Norman Powell to @The Athletic on whether he fouled Devin Booker in closing seconds Fri at Phoenix, which led to game-winning FTs: “I hit him a little bit, but you know, I don’t think it was enough for the ref … the ref couldn’t see that. He more called Devin Booker’s yell.”
Kellan Olson: L2M highlights from last night: — Nurkic didn’t foul Saric on the first set of FTs with 1:04 left — Bridges traveled on his drive off the inbound he got FTs for with 34 secs left — Powell fouled Booker before he got the ball with 4 secs left — CJ went backcourt at the end