Injured Timberwolves Coach Jokes Mike Conley Should Be Stripped of NBA Award

Chris Finch appears to be in good spirits after suffering a knee injury in Game 4.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mike Conley tends to coach Chris Finch during Game 4 of their playoff series against the Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mike Conley tends to coach Chris Finch during Game 4 of their playoff series against the Phoenix Suns / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mike Conley won his second career NBA Teammate of the Year award on Wednesday, but one member of the organization joked it should be taken away because of a recent incident.

In the closing minutes of the Timberwolves' 122–116 win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 4 on Sunday, Conley crashed into coach Chris Finch after he was bumped out of bounds. Finch went down hard and suffered a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. He had to be helped off the court.

When Finch heard the news Wednesday about Conley being honored as the league's top teammate, he reached out with a witty quip.

"He wanted to put a word in about me winning that award," Conley said on KFAN on Wednesday evening. "He wants to veto it because I hurt him."

Finch underwent surgery Wednesday to repair his knee. It's unclear if he'll be able to return to the court and coach the Timberwolves on Saturday in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Denver Nuggets.

"He's still got his jokes and stuff so it seems like he's in good spirits," Conley said. "Hopefully the recovery process is that so he's able to come on the trip [to Denver] and be there for the first few games."

Conley also won the Teammate of the Year award in 2019, his final season with the Memphis Grizzlies. This year, he edged runner-ups Mikal Bridges of the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson to take home the hardware.

The Timberwolves surprised Conley with the news after practice Wednesday.

"It's honestly an honor," Conley said on KFAN. "Anytime I get mentioned with the guys who are up for the award, I feel grateful and thankful to be up there. But to win the award is something that means a lot to me."


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Tom Dierberger

TOM DIERBERGER

Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.