Report: Ex-Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders pulled muscle yelling at Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins and Ryan Saunders with Minnesota Timberwolves
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins occasionally flashes the athleticism and ability that made him the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Wiggins practically never looks better than No. 3 pick Joel Embiid. But Wiggins at least sometimes shows how the Cavaliers could have made that mistake.

Other times, Wiggins has three points and four turnovers at halftime – as he did for the Timberwolves against the Bulls on Jan. 22, 2020.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

Ryan Saunders, then the Wolves coach and a fervent backer of Wiggins, screamed at Wiggins in the locker room.

“I don’t even remember what he said,” Wiggins recalls now. “But he’s still my guy.”

Saunders was so intense, he began feeling chest pains, sources say. Team doctors examined him for potential cardiac issues. They concluded Saunders had pulled a muscle in his chest yelling at Wiggins, sources say. Team officials like to say Saunders loves Wiggins so much, berating him almost broke his heart.

Wiggins scored 22 points in the second half. Minnesota traded Wiggins to Golden State a couple weeks later then fired Saunders a year later.

But at least Saunders escaped without Wiggins giving him a heart attack.