Tag: Kurt Rambis


Timberwolves ask permission to interview Bickerstaff


From The Oregonian’s Joel Freeman:

The Minnesota Timberwolves have asked the Blazers for permission to interview asst coach Bernie Bickerstaff for their head coach position.

The Timberwolves are about to fire head coach Kurt Rambis (if they can’t shame him into quitting so they don’t have to pay him the remaining $4 million on his deal) after stumbling to the league’s worst record last season. Despite the Wolves’ season-long futility, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the franchise: Kevin Love had a season-long coming out party last year, and the Timberwolves will be adding two high-lottery draft picks after drafting Derrick Williams and getting Ricky Rubio to come over from Spain.

Among other coaching jobs, Bickerstaff was the first-ever head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, and was recently been an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls under Vinny Del Negro. Bickerstaff’s son is currently an assistant coach with the Timberwolves.

Report: Wolves may move Rambis to front office

Kurt Rambis

This whole situation is just pathetic.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have yet to officially fire Kurt Rambis. Make no mistake, he’s done. He will not be coaching the Timberwolves next year. That much is clear.

But Rambis continues to be hung out to dry by the wolves. Officially he is still the coach. Nobody has fired him, he just lives in a state of limbo.

Now rather than fire him, general manager David Kahn is thinking of moving Rambis up to front office, reports the team at Yahoo. Except Rambis doesn’t really like that idea. Not that he is going to quit — Rambis wants to get paid the remaining $4 million on his deal. .

So we have a standoff, Yahoo reports.

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.

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.

Come on Kahn, if you’re going to fire a coach, fire him. Man up.

You have cause — the Wolves won 17 games last year, you want a more open offense with Ricky Rubio coming in (so less triangle), you want your coach and Kevin Love to get along (Rambis an Love struggle to even speak to each other). That’s all legit, if you want to fire him for that, we get it.

Problem is, your season ended in April, you made him write out a report on the team like a fifth grader, you put off any decision for what is now approaching three months — what legitimate coach is going to come and work there now? The rumored replacements are J.B. Bickerstaff and Washington’s Lorenzo Romar — not guys on the top of the NBA food chain.

This has just become embarrassing for the Wolves.

Report: Wolves targeted Coach K for coaching position until they remembered they’re the Wolves

Michigan v Duke

It’s not like they’re going to have trouble getting a coach. Any head coaching position will draw interest, and will draw qualified candidates. There are only 30 NBA head coaching jobs, so most people if offered one will take it, no matter the circumstances. But the Minnesota Timberwolves are damaging their future ability to get qualified applicants.

It’s June 26th, and Kurt Rambis is still the head coach of the Wolves. This despite not having been given any support since season’s end from management or ownership. This despite having not been invited to draft workouts. This despite being instructed to put together a report on the team like he’s a fifth grader. It’s been a disgraceful way to treat a professional, no matter how bad a job he did, especially considering how prolifically they set Rambis up to fail with their decision making. Give Rambis this, he hasn’t quit in a huff. He’s going to make the Wolves fire him and pay him every penny they owe him on his contract.

But where do they go from there? The New York Daily News says the Wolves have aimed high… by about two miles over a reasonable distance for a target.

Timberwolves GM David Kahn, made a run at Mike Krzyzewski.

Talk about a waste of time. Coach K once turned down a chance to go to the Lakers and coach Kobe Bryant in his prime. Did Kahn really think that he could get Krzyzewski to leave his Duke kingdom? He did.

“He tried to get him,” said one Kahn confidante.

via Timberwolves GM wanted to lure Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski to Minnesota to coach Ricky Rubio project.

Now that’s the best gag I’ve heard all week. It’s worth a shot, obviously, but the only way Krzyzewski is leaving Duke is if he’s walking into a surefire championship situation and he feels like it. Neither of those conditions apply in Minnesota. It’s a pipe dream. And if the Wolves are wasting their time trying for the hole-in-one instead of just trying to get it on the green, it’s yet another example of how flawed the decision making is from top-down.

Meanwhile, people like Jeff Van Gundy, members of the coaching fraternity, are openly criticizing the move in public regarding how they’ve treated Rambis. This isn’t just about doing the right thing. It’s about not putting yourselves in a position to be regarded as a place where coaches are mistreated. Yes, you’ll always be able to get someone to take the job. But the most qualified applicants, like Coach K? They care about how you treat your coaches. And the Wolves are doing themselves a disservice.

You want to bring in one of the best? Try handling your in-house business with class and dignity first.

Report: Timberwolves fire Kurt Rambis

Kurt Rambis

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Minnesota Timberwolves have decided to fire head coach Kurt Rambis, but will not make the official announcement until after tomorrow’s draft:

Minnesota Timberwolves general manager David Kahn has decided to fire coach Kurt Rambis, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Kahn isn’t expected to announce the decision until after Thursday’s NBA draft, but he’s already begun collecting information on prospective replacements for Rambis, sources said…

Rambis has two years left on his original four-year contract. With the Timberwolves in the midst of a major rebuilding project, he went 32-132 as their coach, including a league-worst 17-65 this season.

Kahn told reporters he’d made the unusual request of asking Rambis to file a written report to him on changes Rambis would make if he returned as coach. He also said Rambis won’t attend the Timberwolves’ draft on Thursday night.

Kahn had wanted Rambis to become a better communicator with players. He also wanted him to design an offense away from the triangle and toward the open-court talents of rookie point guard Ricky Rubio. Rambis’ relationship with key young players, especially Kevin Love, had been frayed, at best.

As Wojnarowski mentions in the article, Rambis had two years left on his four-year contract. With Rambis as head coach, the Timberwolves went 32-132. As a player, Rambis was a hard-charging role player who attacked the glass with passion, and he won four championships as a player with the Lakers. After his playing career ended, Rambis served as the head coach of the Lakers in 1999, leading the team to a 24-13 regular-season record, and later served as a Laker assistant from 2002-2009.

It must be disappointing for Rambis that he’s getting his walking papers right as the Timberwolves appear ready to move out of their endless rebuilding stage and start trying to become a contending team again for the first time since the Garnett era, but it looks like Minnesota’s front office didn’t feel he was the right man for the job going forward.


Wolves’ Kahn gave Kurt Rambis summer homework

Timberwolves Kahn Basketball

Finally after two months of not meeting, not talking seriously about the future, General Manager David Kahn and coach Kurt Rambis finally sat down to talk about where the Minnesota Timberwolves are headed.

What took so long? Apparently Kahn had assigned Rambis homework — he wanted a written report from Rambis about changes needed. And said report was the primary topic of discussion, according to the Associated Press.

Minnesota Timberwolves President David Kahn says he asked Kurt Rambis to write a report about the changes he would make as coach if he comes back for a third season as head coach.

Kahn says he met with Rambis for four hours on Thursday night and planned to meet with him again Friday to discuss the report that Rambis turned in last week.

Kahn wouldn’t say what the timetable is for a decision on Rambis’ future.

Is this really all that hard? You needed to wait two months and discuss a written report? (“I want it to be at least 10 pages, double spaced, done with appropriate footnotes, and don’t try to use a big font just so you can write less.”) Sit down face-to-face, talk and see if you are on the same page still, make a decision. Do it within a couple weeks of the season ending. It’s big decision, but it’s not rocket science.

That said, Kahn needs to make sure whatever choice he makes works. He needs to make sure Ricky Rubio works. Because the bill on all his gambles is coming due.