We told you earlier today that former Minnesota coach (and current ESPN analyst) Flip Saunders is working with a group of investors looking to buy the Timberwolves. In this scenario and Saunders would take over basketball operations (owner Glenn Taylor has had the team on the market for a while looking for an owner who would gradually take over and would keep the team in Minnesota).
But Saunders moving into a position of power could happen sooner rather than later.
Columnist Sid Hartman at the Star Tribune suggests Saunders could be in and current GM David Kahn could be out by the start of next season.
There are several indications pointing to the likelihood of former Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders replacing David Kahn as president of basketball operations for the team before the 2013-14 season.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor wasn’t available for comment on the subject Saturday, but he hasn’t kept it a secret that Saunders has served as a consultant for him on the basketball team during this season.
Unless Saunders is offered a coaching job that would pay him a lot more money than he would get being the Wolves’ president of basketball operations, I think it’s a strong possibility that Saunders will replace Kahn before next season.
There are a whole lot of “ifs” coming, but…
If Taylor is interested in selling to this group of investors, and if Saunders really is going to step in to run the basketball side of the operation, and if Taylor knows Kevin Love isn’t Kahn’s biggest fan and would like a change, and if Taylor really is good with all of it than it’s possible Saunders could take over sooner rather than later.
A lot of ifs, but there is a logical flow to this. On the court the Timberwolves need to keep Kevin Love in house to try and build a contender with him and Ricky Rubio at the core, and sliding Kahn out for Saunders could help with that. As for what steps the Wolves need to take, we actually need to see this team play for a stretch with everyone healthy then evaluate. Saunders could do that.
Taylor isn’t racing to sell the team, but it’s not hard to see this come together faster than the sale itself.
As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.
For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.
Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.
Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.
Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.
Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.
Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.
A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…
“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”
Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.
The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.
It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.
But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.
Best. Dunk. Ever.
Weis was never the same.
In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.
Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.