Monday October 26th, 2015

The NBA Coaches Association released a statement Monday on the passing of Flip Saunders.

“Flip’s innovativeness, competitive integrity and coaching longevity make him one of the most respected coaches in NBA history,” NBA coaches association president Rick Carlisle said in a statement. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the entire Saunders family. The NBA coaching profession has lost a great man.”

Saunders, who was the Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and head coach, died Sunday after a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 60.

Saunders originally coached Minnesota from 1995–2005 before beginning a second coaching stint with the Timberwolves in June 2014, one year after becoming president of basketball operations.

As an NBA coach, Saunders had a career mark of 654–594, with a 47–51 record in the playoffs. He reached three conference finals while with the Detroit Pistons, and led the Wolves to multiple 50-win seasons during his first coaching stint with the team.

To honor Saunders, all NBA coaches will wear a “Flip” pin during games this season.

Saunders is survived by his wife Debbie and their four children.

• The extensive reach of Flip Saunders

- Kayla Lombardo

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