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Report: Rick Carlisle, NBCA issued apology on Wolves HC Chris Finch after last season’s hiring criticisms

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The National Basketball Coaches Association, led by its president Rick Carlisle, cleared things out and issued their apologies to Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch way back in the Las Vegas Summer League meeting in August. 

Reported by Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, the union aired their regrets of making Finch a subject of their criticisms after he was hired by the T-Wolves management in February midway through the 2020 – 2021 season — an unusual winning candidate who wasn’t within the franchise ever since.

“With so many of the league’s coaches in attendance, Carlisle issued an apology to Timberwolves coach Chris Finch, who had unwittingly been at the center of a firestorm when he was brought in to replace Ryan Saunders in February. Former president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas’s decision to replace Saunders with an outside hire in the middle of the season was exceedingly rare, the first time it had happened since 2009, and the optics of Finch’s hiring coming so quickly after Saunders was fired did not sit well with some league observers.”

– Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic; After a rocky start in Minnesota, Chris Finch has the Timberwolves on the rise

Finch left the Toronto Raptors assistant coaching hub to replace Ryan Saunders as the lead play artist of the 7-25 Minnesota at that time, a move that absorbed criticisms mainly from the said organization. 

Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard even expressed his disappointment on Twitter, saying the Timberwolves should have considered Saunders’ well-respected assistant and defensive specialist David Vanterpool to take the coaching helm. Vanterpool and Lillard developed strong ties in Portland, as the black coach was significant on the growth of the scoring point guard. 

When Wolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas, the man who landed Finch in the team, was fired prior to this 2021-2022 campaign, the 52-year-old coach was rumored to be on the hot seat. As such, as he helped to transform this current Minny squad into an enticing group of cagers led by Karl Anthony-Towns, uncertainties swirling around may seem being squashed right now. 

The Wolves are on a hot roll, winning seven of their last eight games while carving an 11-10 record that is good enough so far for the sixth seed of the tight Western Conference. As the road gets brighter moving forward upon the leadership of Finch, there’s nothing to worry about. 

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