posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 07:07 PM
Kevin McHale shook up the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, firing longtime friend Flip Saunders and taking over the coaching duties for
the rest of the season.
McHale, the team's vice president of basketball operations, called Saunders on Saturday morning to break the news.
"We talked this morning, and it was very, very hard," McHale said. "We've known each other for a long time, but our last 32 games we're 12-20, and
just not playing at a level that's acceptable, energy-wise.
"Maybe a new voice will help. I'm going to do my best to get these guys competing at a higher level."
Saunders, who had the second-longest tenure among NBA coaches, will be reassigned within the organization, the team said.
Minnesota is 25-26 this season, a disappointment after last season's franchise-best 58-24 mark. Spurred on by Kevin Garnett's MVP season, the Wolves
reached the Western Conference finals for the first time, creating optimism heading into this season.