The Minnesota Timberwolves fired head coach Tom Thibodeau on Sunday despite a 22-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Ryan Saunders, the immediate assistant coach and formerly Minnesota’s head coach, will take over Thibodeau’s job in an interim position.
“We would like to thank Tom for his efforts and wish him all the best,” owner Glen Taylor said. “These decisions are never easy to make, but we felt them necessary to move our organization forward.”
Thibodeau doubled up as the team’s head coach and president of basketball operations. He joined Minnesota in 2016 after successful stints in Boston and Chicago. This season, the 60-year-old had an 18-21 record prior to beating the Lakers 108-86 on Sunday.
After the blowout win, CEO Ethan Casson and general manager Scott Layden fired Thibodeau immediately and replaced him with Saunders. Layden’s job is also not secure as there are reports Minnesota plans to replace him with Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg. However, UCLA also wants Hoiberg, which may complicate the issue.
Thibodeau has been in the hot since he traded Jimmy Butler amidst a host of controversies. The saga allegedly contributed to Minnesota’s woes. The team didn’t remain down for long though as they have since won 15 games against 12 losses.