After a strenuous offseason and difficult start to the regular season, the Minnesota Timberwolves have relived Tom Thibodeau of his coaching duties after three seasons. The team was 19-21 and two games out of the 8th spot in the Western Conference.

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In an official statement, owner, Glen Taylor said, “We would like to thank Tom for his efforts and wish him the best. These decisions are never easy to make, but we felt necessary to move our organization forward.”

The timing of the firing has become a topic of discussion because the T-Wolves were coming off of 30 point route of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.


As SB Nation’s Timberwolves blog Canis Hoopus wrote:

“The timing is quite surprising, with two plus years remaining on his contract, though Glen Taylor’s unhappiness with Thibs was not a secret. Taylor has made clear that he expects results this season, but I thought Thibs would get the entire year to show them. I guess Taylor did not like the direction things were heading and decided to make a change now.”

On June 23, Thibodeau became Bulls’ head coach after being an assistant coach for years, notably with Doc Rivers when the Boston Celtics won the championship in 2008. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year on May 1, 2011, after tying the record for most wins by a rookie head coach with 62. After some success in Chicago, Thibs was fired following the 2014-15 season.

Regarded as one the best defensive minds in the National Basketball Association, Thibodeau had no problem landing another coaching gig. On April 20, 2016, it was announced that the Minnesota Timberwolves had hired Thibodeau as head coach and president of basketball operations. In his second season, the Timberwolves made their first playoff appearance in 14 years. After a contentious battle with star guard Jimmy Butler who demanded a trade, the Timberwolves never recovered from their lack of team chemistry.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, former Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is “seriously considered” by Minnesota. For the time being, assistant coach Ryan Saunders will take over for Thibodeau on an interim basis. Saunders is the son of former Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders.