By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - It seemed like it was only a matter of time the whole way, but Friday afternoon in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Timberwolves and owner Glen Taylor introduced President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders as the newest head coach of the team.
Head coach of the Timberwolves from 1995 to 2005, Saunders has 638 wins already on his coaching resume and is the third winningest active coach and the 20th winningest coach of all-time. Since being dismissed by Minnesota in 2005, Saunders bounced around between Detroit and Washington before landing back with the Timberwolves before last season as the President of Basketball Operations.
When Rick Adelman stepped down from the role following the 2013-2014 season, Flip and owner Glen Taylor began a rigorous search for a new head coach. Rumored to be close to a handful of candidates, Saunders and the Wolves continued to come up dry. Now, faced with the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26th, Taylor and Saunders decided it was time to end the search and turn their focus towards building for the 2014-2015 season. That left Saunders as the only viable option to fill the vacancy and create a dual role as President and Head Coach.
"We had already talked about the possibility of Flip being head coach," Taylor explained a piece of the hiring process. "That isn't just something we brought up last week. We knew that that was a possibility, but it was always my preference if we could find another person to take on that leadership role that I'd like to have Flip concentrate as President of Basketball Operations."
The dual role of Coach and President of Basketball Operations is actually not as rare as you might think it is. Larry Brown filled both roles during his time in Philadelphia, Pat Riley held both spots in Miami for a time and Don Nelson split his interests for the Mavericks in Dallas. Still, it's less than ideal to have one person filling the job requirements for two integral roles in a multimillion dollar business.
It was largely rumored that the looming situation surrounding the fate of star forward Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves sort of handcuffed the team in their external search for a new head coach. With the status of a big piece of the puzzle up in the air, the job simply was not that appealing for someone to walk away from something comfortable.
"This team can change drastically in three days," Saunders said of the fluidity of the team's roster. "If you're in the league and you understand that, you know that that's really part of [the decision]."
For now, Saunders will continue to research all of the possibilities that surround the status of Kevin Love while beginning to share duties as the man who needs to develop the game plan for the team he will be fielding come next season.
As for how long Saunders plans on coaching, he wouldn't completely broach the subject.
"This is a step by step," Saunders said. "I don't think we're going to put a timeline on it. As Glen said, we talked about this and we'd go this year and reevaluate it after this year and see where we're at."
The full press conference with newly named head coach Flip Saunders was broadcast LIVE on KFAN 100.3FM and can be replayed by using the media player below.
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Wolves updates and breaking Wolves news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN