Tom Thibodeau and I have something in common- neither of us are employed by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
According to multiple sources, he was relieved of his duties as both President of Basketball Operations and head coach on Sunday. Oddly enough the firing came following the team’s 22-point shellacking of the Los Angeles. According to league sources, CEO Ethan Cason, accompanied by general manager Scott Layden strode in Thibodeau’s office after the game and fired him. It seemed that Thibs had no idea that this was coming. He expected that he would be able to finish this season in his current capacities.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has this to say of the change to Minneapolis Star-Tribune writer Christopher Hine:
I said let’s let it go and see how things worked and I think now we’ve gone up through halfway through the season and I don’t think we’re where we thought we would be or where we think we should be…We still have hopes to getting into the playoffs and I think with half the season left, lets see if this change will make a difference.
In an odd move that certainly will keep the dismissive “TimberBulls” term alive, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski , recently canned Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is seriously being considered to replace Thibs as head coach or GM in the future.
Thibodeau was 97-107 during his time in Minnesota. The 97 victories tied him with Rick Adelman for the second most wins in franchise history. In 2017-18 he guided the team to their first playoff appearance in 14 years.
Assistant coach Ryan Saunders, the son of the late Flip Saunders will take over as the interim head coach.