Minnesota Timberwolves Search For a Head Coach; Van Gundy and Thibodeau High on List
While the Minnesota Timberwolves have been one of NBA’s forgotten Western Conference teams for most of the last decade, they are desperate for change as the Minnesota Timberwolves search for a head coach to take over next season.
NBA rumors are swirling that the Minnesota Timberwolves have narrowed their choices for their next head coach between former Chicago Bulls lead man, Tom Thibodeau, and one-time New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, several media outlets have suggested.
Minnesota fired interim head coach Sam Mitchell at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season and have one of the most exciting up-and-coming rosters in the game. Karl-Anthony Towns could make the All-NBA Third Team as the league’s unanimous Rookie of the Year. Andrew Wiggins is a 25+ PPG scorer out on the wing. Zach LaVine offers unheard-of athleticism and even veteran point guard Ricky Rubio is only 25 years old.
Coach Thibodeau and His Resume
Thibodeau, widely hailed for his defensive acumen, served as head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 2010 to ’15, compiling a .647 winning percentage. He led Chicago to the playoffs in each of his five seasons. The Bulls failed to reach the playoffs this season.
Coach Thibodeau actually broke into the league as an assistant coach for the Timberwolves in the 1989-1990 season.
Coach Jeff Van Gundy and His Resume
Van Gundy has not coached since 2007, when he was with the Houston Rockets. Across 11 seasons with the Knicks and Rockets, Van Gundy has a record of 430–318 over his career, and a 44–44 record in the playoffs.
The time Jeff Van Gundy spent on the sidelines was marked with success. He led the team to the NBA Finals in 1999, losing to the San Antonio Spurs in five games during the strike-shortened season.
Despite having Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady during his time with the Houston Rockets, Jeff Van Gundy never advanced past the first round in the NBA playoffs. The Minnesota Timberwolves would need to overlook that as the next head coach because he would be tasked with growing young talent into playoff contenders.
The T-Wolves Are Loaded With Young Talent
“We’re going to be really good,” Karl-Anthony Towns said earlier this week. “Really, really good. Frightening, actually. We have every tool needed to be the team we see ourselves being. We have a year of experience under our belt. I think everything is going in the right direction.”
Targeting coaches like Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau signal the Minnesota Timberwolves want a defensive-minded coach. Both men would make a great coach in Minnesota. Added with Kevin Garnett continuing to mentor the players, expect big things from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the future.
(Minnesota Timberwolves Search For a Head Coach)