By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Just days before the start of the new season, the NBA mourns the death of Phil “Flip” Saunders who has passed away at age 60.
The longtime NBA coach who won more than 650 games in nearly two decades and was trying to rebuild the Minnesota Timberwolves as team president, coach and part owner, died Sunday, the team said. He was 60.
Saunders was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in June and doctors called it “treatable and curable,” when the Timberwolves made the diagnosis public in August. But he took a leave of absence from the team in September after complications arose during his treatment, which included chemotherapy.
This week, owner Glen Taylor announced Saunders would not be back this season and asked team employees to give Saunders time to heal. The Timberwolves open the season Wednesday.
Sam Mitchell has been named interim head coach of the Timberwolves and GM Milt Newton is heading the team’s personnel department.