The NBA is mourning for the loss of Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and head of basketball operations Flip Saunders as he lost his battle to cancer at age 60.
Saunders was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma four months ago and the doctor’s initial diagnosis was that the disease was “very treatable and curable.” In fact, the late coach was still active two months after he was diagnosed but just a few weeks ago, it was announced that he won’t be participating in the upcoming 2015-2016 NBA season.
“Not this year. I just think his illness, I mean, it’s serious,” said T-Wolves team owner Glen Taylor last week via Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. “At this point, if he came back I still think he’d have a hard time to recover all his energy and all that because he has been in the hospital for a long time.”
Upon Saundler’s passing, the owner released a statement and condolence for his family.
“It is with tremendous difficulty and deep sadness that the Timberwolves acknowledge the passing of our President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach, Flip Saunders. Flip was a symbol of strength, compassion, and dignity for our organization. He was a shining example of what a true leader should be, defined by his integrity and kindness to all he encountered.”
“Today is not a day to reflect on Flip’s accomplishments in basketball or what he brought to us as an organization on the court, but rather to indicate what he meant to us as a co-worker, friend, member of the community and the basketball world at large. We as an organization are devastated by his passing, and our hearts and prayers go out to Debbie and the entire Saunders family as they endure this extraordinary loss.”
Also, when the news broke out, players who were part of Flip’s circle took it to social media to express their deepest sorrow.