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PRESS BOX: Saunders to coach Timberwolves

The SportsXchange

Flip Saunders is about to become a jack-of-all-trades for the Minnesota Timberwolves, adding head coach to his front office responsibilities.

Saunders takes over a team that went 40-42 last season under Rick Adelman, who announced his retirement in April. Saunders will be introduced at an afternoon press conference Friday. It is expected Saunders will surrender some or all of his personnel department responsibilities.

Saunders joined the Wolves' front office last year and coached the team previously from 1995 to 2005.

---Miami Heat star LeBron James begins his fifth NBA Finals thinking about a third championship. He'll leave it to everyone else to compute what another ring might mean to the LeBron Legacy.

"I play for my teammates, our team, the city of Miami, my friends, and family," James told reporters on Wednesday. "Win, lose, or draw, I'm satisfied with that. I don't get involved in what people say about me and my legacy. I think it's actually kind of stupid."

A repeat win for the Heat would give Miami three consecutive NBA titles, a feat last achieved by the 2000-2002 Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant. Not since the Boston Celtics in the 1980s has a team gone to four straight Finals as Miami is this postseason. The bar is set by Michael Jordan, who went 6-0 in the NBA Finals with the Chicago Bulls before retiring.


The script continues to play out for the Los Angeles Kings, who haven't taken the easy road in these Stanley Cup playoffs.

The New York Rangers jumped all over them in the first period Wednesday night and took a 2-0 lead. But the Kings never seem to panic -- and even thrive when they are behind. The Kings scored three straight goals for a 3-2 overtime win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center.

"You don't want to trade chances with the New York Rangers," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "I said it (Tuesday) and I've said it every day. If you have to score more than three goals you're going to have trouble. If you trade chances, in the end you're going to have trouble."

The Kings just came off their third Game 7 of the opening three rounds, an emotional overtime affair with the defending champion Blackhawks in Chicago on Sunday.


Indianapolis will remain the host of the Big Ten conference championship game through 2021.

The league announced Lucas Oil Stadium will be the site of the December game through the 2021 season. The first postseason conference championship game in Big Ten history was played in the stadium in 2011, when the league and Lucas Oil Stadium signed a five-year pact.

Chicago and Indianapolis will rotate the host assignment for the Big Ten conference basketball tournament in March.
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