The Minnesota Timberwolves have decided to part ways with head coach Tom Thibodeau Sunday, despite a 22-point blowout win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Assistant coach Ryan Saunders will reportedly serve as Minnesota’s interim head coach and Tim Layden will work as the team’s fill-in general manager. The Wolves are 19-21 and are 11th in the Western Conference. Thibodeau was hired by the T-Wolves in April of 2016 and finished his tenure in Minnesota with 97-107 record.
This comes as a shock that a franchise would fire a coach after he blows out a team by 22. Yet, a lot could say the moment was already built up which led to the firing. Yes, the team underachieved even with having a big three at the time that consisted of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler. However, the way he handled the saga that was Butler, that put the writing on the wall between Thibodeau and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor.
Also, giving Thibodeau dual responsibility to serve as the head coach and president back when he was first hired was not the greatest decision.
Those that have had both positions, which haven’t been that many, haven’t succeeded. However, Thibodeau with the right team and right situation is a very good coach and should land a coaching job at some point.
As far as potential replacements go for Thibodeau, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Minnesota is considering hiring former Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg as the Timberwolves new coach or general manager in the future.
Hoiberg was fired by the Bulls in December but worked as an assistant GM for the T-Wolves before becoming head coach at Iowa State in 2010. Hoiberg also spent two seasons with Minnesota from 2003 to 2005.
The Wolves play Tuesday as they’ll face Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder.