Former Head Coach Wants Back In To The NBA

While the Minnesota Timberwolves fight for their playoff lives Friday night, their former coach is watching closely, and looking to get another shot at an NBA job. Ryan Saunders, who has been out of the league since being fired by the T-Wolves in February of 2021, is planning for his return. 

"I'll be back on an NBA staff next season," Saunders told  Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "And I'm going to be ready." He says he's been watching his former players, and all of the NBA playoff action, very closely.

Saunders is the son of legendary coach Flip Saunders, who passed away six years ago at the age of 60. Ryan was actually on his father's coaching staff during his second tenure with the Timberwolves, before he died just before the season in October 2015. Ryan took over as head coach in 2019 after the firing of Tom Thibodeau. 

The 35-year-old Ryan Saunders said he had a few opportunities to take an assistant's job on the bench this past season, but instead chose to hunker down with some serious family time with his wife and two very young children, ages 2 and 1. 

When asked what he missed most about coaching, he told Reusse, "Believe it or not, it's the camaraderie and the misery." With a 43-94 record with the T-Wolves, there was certainly a fair share of misery. Now he's ready for the camaraderie once again. 

"The camaraderie of the NBA, but also the pain in the stomach — knowing that win or lose, there's always that next challenge." He hopes that next NBA challenge comes next season. 

Photo Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports