Flip Saunders

Recent Articles

Timberwolves begin 2015-16 season on the road with heavy heart

Sam Mitchell has served as the interim coach since September and will serve as season coach in light of Flip Saunders passing.

Prior to the announcement of Saunders death, the MSR spoke with Mitchell, players, and Wolves GM Milt Newton regarding Mitchell’s coaching style. “Sam has his own style of doing things,” said Newton. “He has a certain way of running things and we will give him the leeway to do that.” Continue Reading →

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Timberwolves’ 2014 playoffs shot slipping away!

The 2013-2014 Minnesota Timberwolves season started with great expectations. Celebrating 25 years of NBA Timberwolves basketball for the most part has been a quarter of a century of mediocrity, consistent frustration, disappointment, and unfulfilled excitement. Starting this season, the Timberwolves have missed the playoffs nine years in a row. New Vice President-Part Owner Flip Saunders replaced David Kahn. Saunders, the all-time winningest coach in franchise history, promised a culture change from top to bottom throughout the organization. Continue Reading →

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High-scoring Timberwolves now 7-4

Will this be the year the Timberwolves make a run for a title? Will they return to the playoffs for the first time since Kevin Garnett-Sam Cassell-Latrell Sprewell drove the franchise to the Western Conference Finals? This is year 25 for the Timberwolves to celebrate a quarter of a century of no banners. When I started covering sports in this town back in 1978 the NBA did not exist. After 11 games, the 7-4 Timberwolves are one of the league’s most entertaining teams. They get up and down the floor. Continue Reading →

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Bobby’s back, and he’s not the same guy

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Bobby Jackson this week begins his first season as Minnesota Timberwolves player development coach.  He returns to the area where some of his greatest athletic exploits are well-documented. Jackson starred for two seasons at the University of Minnesota (1995-97), where in his senior year he was named the Big Ten’s top player and helped the Gophers reach the 1997 NCAA national semifinals. From there, the guard became an NBA draft pick and logged a dozen seasons (1997-2009) with six teams, including the Wolves (1998-2000), and was the 2003 NBA Sixth Man during his tenure with Sacramento. “I think I had a decent career at both levels,” says Jackson humbly. After retiring as a player, Jackson first became a scout, then an assistant coach at Sacramento for two seasons. Continue Reading →

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Changing of the guard with the T-Wolves


Flip Saunders’ good calculations will replace David Kahn’s poor ones

Because of my November 7, 2012 column (“The smartest White team in the NBA: T-Wolves team return to the 1950s?”), we took heat from those who took exception with our prediction that there would be a “day of reckoning” (being fired) if David Kahn’s “smartest White team” strategy didn’t result in at least 45 wins (it was disastrous; they won only 31). As I wrote in that November 7 column: “Play the best players, whether all White, all Black or a combination. To have the best game possible, Commissioner Stern has insisted on ‘color blind’ drafting/signing. So why not the Timberwolves?” Thus, get the fans “the best players playing so their teams have the best chance to win. It is quite clear that owner Glenn Taylor is of the same mind set.”

My prediction was the fruit of my being a life-long sports analyst/journalist/fan with a deep sense of the game’s history. Continue Reading →

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Does it really matter? — Athletes’ sexual orientation none of our business



Two weeks ago we learned that the WNBA’s top overall pick is gay. Last week we learned that a longtime NBA veteran center is gay. Neither news item bothered me at all. However, what does bother me is what convinced Britney Griner to tell a reporter that she’s out of the closet and why it matters. Ditto for what convinced Jason Collins to exclusively speak about his sexuality to Sports Illustrated. Continue Reading →

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Congratulations, Tubby!


 Texas Tech hires Tubby Smith while U of M keeps looking

There is no mystery about the well-designed plan to oust six-year U of M Gopher men’s basketball Head Coach Tubby Smith. Well designed, but ill-advised and poorly executed, as seen in various Star Tribune headlines Monday, March 25 through Monday, April 1. 25th: “Firing Smith would be big mistake by Gophers” (Sid Hartman)

26th: “Tubby out, U search in high gear” (Dennis Brackin)

26th: “U: time for a change”

26th: “Tubby’s best not enough”

27th: “Mn in position like sleeping giant”

28th: “Search moves on; Smart to stay at VCU”

29th: “U leaders mold coaching network”

30th: “Stop fretting, Flip [Saunders] is the right fit”

31st: “Flip says no to U”

1st: “Tubby Smith to Texas Tech; Minnesota search continues”

1st: “Minnesota basketball coaching job: Who wants it?”

Have you wondered, as I have, as to why, even when the Gophers were 15-1, the Star Tribune’s little lady from North Carolina [by way of short stints — after graduating from college — at the Boston Globe and the Detroit Free Press] was so hostile in her sports coverage of U basketball? Sources within the U as well as Minneapolis sports scene movers and shakers enable us to connect the dots. The announcement that Tubby found a new job April 1 at Texas Tech was no April Fool’s joke. Continue Reading →

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