It was only two years ago that Flip Saunders returned to his home state of Minnesota to try and rescue the Timberwolves from irrelevancy. A team had did not have a future and a franchise that literally and figuratively lacked a pulse.
But for Flip Saunders, 60, the real challenge begins after announcing Tuesday that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“I am attacking this with the same passion I do everything in my life, knowing this is a serious issue,” he said in a statement issued by the team. “I also know that God has prepared me to fight this battle.”
According to Saunders’s doctors the cancer is “very curable and treatable
Despite the diagnosis and being absent from this year’s Summer League games, the president and coach of the Timberwolves oversaw the draft workouts of future rookies Karl Anthony-Towns and Tyus Jones and also signed Euroleague MVP Nemanja Bjelica and added 16 year veteran point guard Andre Miller as well as Kevin Garnett to facilitate Minnesota’s youth movement.
Saunders going into 2015 will be serving as the Timberwolves head coach for the second consecutive season after serving under the position from 1995-2005. He is also a partial owner of the club and team president. During Saunders first run as coach of the T’Wolves, he helped Minnesota reach the Western Conference Finals in 2005.
“Flip has kept me apprised of his cancer diagnosis and treatment,” majority owner Glen Taylor said. “He has my support as well as my thoughts and prayers for him and his family.”
“It was emotional for me when Flip informed me of his battle as I consider Flip a very good friend who I love like a brother,” general manager Mitt Newton said. “My family and I will support him and his family in any way we can. We will pray for his complete recovery and support him to the fullest.”