• Jay Christian

Not Feeling Minnesota: Thibs Out As Wolves Coach


Being an 80s baby, I heed the wisdom of Ferris Bueller when he observed that life moves pretty fast. And if everyday life comes at you fast, then it travels at the speed of light in the NBA.

Today life came at Minnesota Timberwolves Tom Thibodeau at a breakneck pace. The Timberwolves parted ways with its head coach on Sunday, ending a promising yet ultimately disappointing chapter of Minnesota basketball.

The timing of Thibodeau’s dismissal came as a surprise to many, given that the T-Wolves has just finished off an undermanned Los Angeles Lakers squad 108-86 in front of the Target Center faithful hours before the announcement.

Timing aside, the decision was probably expected. Minnesota is 19-21 this season and sitting 11th in the always competitive Western Conference. In two and a half seasons with the T-Wolves, Thibodeau was 97-107, which although not egregious, did not seem to be trending in the right direction.

After parting ways with the Chicago Bulls in 2015, Thibodeau took a year off before agreeing to become Minnesota’s head coach and general manager in 2016. He inherited talented young players Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins and recruited Chicago mainstays Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose to enlist for another tour of duty.

A string of injuries derailed Minnesota’s ascension last season, but the team still managed to make the play-offs and was projected to be among the Western Conference elite this season.

But this season could not have started any worse for Thibodeau. Butler requested a trade which prompted a social media back and forth with Wiggins and would come to include former player Stephen Jackson and Andrew’s brother Nick.

Against Thibodeau’s wishes, Butler was eventually traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Robert Covington, Dario Saric. Thibodeau was down an all-star then. Today, he finds himself out of work.

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