Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and head coach Flip Saunders has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the team announced on Tuesday. Saunders will continue his duties with the team “uninterrupted.”
Saunders, 60, is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for what doctors called, according to the Timberwolves’s statement, a “very treatable and curable form of cancer.”
Saunders’s initial diagnosis came eight weeks ago by Timberwolves vice president of team medical services Sheldon Burns. Saunders then began a treatment process at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The Timberwolves said Saunders has “attended to all of his team duties” since the diagnosis.
“I want to thank Dr. Burns as well as my medical team at Mayo Clinic for their hard work in diagnosing my situation and creating a plan to help me achieve a cancer-free outcome,” Saunders said in a statement from the Timberwolves. “I am attacking this with the same passion I do everything in my life, knowing this is a serious issue. I also know that God has prepared me to fight this battle.”
Saunders returned to the Timberwolves in June 2014 and coached Minnesota to a 16–66 record last season. He previously spent 10 seasons as the Timberwolves’s head coach from 1995 to 2005 before leaving for stints with the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards.
- Mike Fiammetta