Back in August, Timberwolves coach and president Flip Saunders was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He’s been undergoing treatment since then, which has cast his status for this upcoming season in doubt, and Sam Mitchell was named interim head coach while Saunders is hospitalized. His condition has worsened recently, and on Friday night, Wolves owner Glen Taylor confirmed what we basically knew: Saunders will not be coaching this season.
When asked Friday if he expected Saunders to return to his jobs, Taylor paused and said: “Not this year. I just think his illness, I mean, it’s serious. At this point, if he came back I still think he’d have a hard time to recover all his energy and all that because he has been in the hospital for a long time.”
There’s no way around it: this sucks. The basketball implications aren’t important at all. The only thing that matters is Saunders eventually making a full recovery.