This one’s for his dad
Timberwolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders earned a win in his first game in charge last night against the Thunder. It was an emotional moment not only for the 32-year-old veteran assistant coach but for the whole Minnesota team.
Saunders has been with the Wolves since 2014, when he joined his father Flip’s coaching staff, and has grown close to the team’s core of young players. Andrew Wiggins even came to his wedding.
Flip Saunders’s presence is still felt in Minnesota, over four years after the coach, executive and part-owner died of cancer. Karl-Anthony Towns, whose rookie season began immediately after Saunders’s death, tweeted after the game “THIS ONE WAS FOR FLIP.”
Ryan, meanwhile, had a much more subtle tribute to his father. During and interview after the game on NBA TV, Isiah Thomas asked the younger Saunders if he ran a play called “452 twist,” his father’s favorite. It was actually a variation called 552 twist, but Ryan said he knew he had to run it.
“I only told my mother before the game,” Saunders said. “I had an idea that we might be able to get something off of it. I didn’t know if it was necessarily going to work out, but I had to, just in an ode to him. I’d feel good about myself if I ran his favorite play, first play of the game.”
The play didn’t end up working (the possession ended with Andrew Wiggins chucking up a desperate long two as the shot clock expired) but does that really matter?
UPDATE: Here’s the full play, dug up by someone on Reddit.
Don’t brag about doing anything illegal on a dating app
You never know who the other person you’re chatting with on a dating app is. If they’re not a bot, they might be the local game warden—in which case it’s not smart to brag about illegally killing a deer.
One Oklahoma woman faces $2,400 in fines for poaching after she matched with her county’s game warden and told him about killing a deer out of season. He didn’t let on about who he was and extracted enough information to identify her and bust her at her house.
The best of SI
These are the five kinds of coaching candidates that NFL teams will interview. ... This is what actually happens in an NFL head coaching interview. ... Kliff Kingsbury’s hiring shows that NFL owners might not be as afraid to take chances in the future.
Around the sports world
Vice spoke with the director of the Space Jam sequel. ... It turns out there hasn’t been an MLB player named “Bob” since 2010, and there aren’t even any currently minor leaguers who go by Bob over Bobby or Rob. ... Philadelphia radio station WHYY profiled the Eagles’ Spanish-speaking announcer whose call of the Cody Parkey miss went viral.
Jamal Murray’s face says it all
Shocked this guy’s ego got him run out of Minnesota
You never know who you’ll run into courtside
Finally, the Warriors will get some help
The offseason seems like the best time to work at a ballpark
Now this is how you celebrate a home run
This fight is no joke
A 210-foot “fatberg” (42 feet longer than the White House) was found clogging an English sewer. ... A moose wandered into an Alaska hospital and started munching on some plants in the lobby. ... A Tennessee man is planning a $40 million theme park based on a ripoff of the Lord of the Rings books. ... A snail, the last of his kind, died at age 14 and now his species is extinct. ... Bill Simmons’s next HBO documentary will be about child actors.
Very good joke
He can’t believe has to explain this stupid task
A good song
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.