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Timberwolves bring back Saunders

The SportsXchange

Flip Saunders has returned to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The team officially named Saunders as its president of basketball operations and a minority owner on Friday.

Saunders coached the Timberwolves and was their general manager from 1995-2005. Now he is in charge of all basketball-related duties.

"We are thrilled to have Flip back with the Timberwolves organization," owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. "Flip is one of the more experienced and creative minds in basketball. He knows what it takes to win in the NBA and we are confident that he will do what is necessary to lead us to a return to our best days as an organization."

Saunders replaces former president of basketball operations David Kahn, who was fired Thursday after the team failed to reach the playoffs in each of the four seasons he had the job. Minnesota has failed to reach the postseason eight consecutive seasons overall.

Saunders coached the Timberwolves to eight straight playoff appearances, including the 2004 Western Conference Finals. He was named conference coach of the year four times and is the franchise's all-time winningest coach with a 411-326 record.

"I'm excited to be back with the Timberwolves and want to thank Glen Taylor for this opportunity," Saunders said in a statement. "My goal is to help the Wolves achieve the success that we experienced during my first tenure with this organization. We have a strong nucleus in place and will look to add assets that will allow us to make the playoffs and eventually compete for an NBA championship."

Saunders left the Timberwolves for the Detroit Pistons in 2005 and guided them to three straight Central Division titles and went 176-70 in that span. He then coached the Washington Wizards from 2009-12.

Before coaching in the NBA, he guided three different CBA teams to seven straight winning seasons, including two league championships.
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