Minnesota Timberwolves coach and president Flip Saunders has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, he announced in a statement on Tuesday. The 60-year-old has been undergoing chemotherapy since the original diagnosis eight weeks ago, and will perform his duties with the Timberwolves uninhibited as he continues battling the disease.
Here’s Saunders’ release in full, courtesy of the Timberwolves’ website:
Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Flip Saunders today announced that he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for what his doctors called a “very treatable and curable form of cancer.”
The initial diagnosis came eight weeks ago during an examination by Timberwolves Vice President of Team Medical Services Sheldon Burns. Saunders immediately started the treatment process with a medical team at Mayo Clinic.
“I am taking it step by step and day by day to understand how to best manage this process,” said Saunders, who has attended to all of his team duties throughout the period of diagnosis and treatment.
“I want to thank Dr. Burns as well as my medical team at Mayo Clinic for their hard work in diagnosing my situation and creating a plan to help me achieve a cancer-free outcome. I am attacking this with the same passion I do everything in my life, knowing this is a serious issue. I also know that God has prepared me to fight this battle.”
Saunders will continue uninterrupted with his duties as Timberwolves’ President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach.
Saunders began his second stint with Minnesota in 2013, this time as the team’s president. He named himself coach one year later after an extensive search didn’t yield the candidate who he deemed a potential long-term option on the sidelines.
The Timberwolves are coming off a 16-66 record, the worst season in franchise history. But aided by the selection of No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns, presence of reigning Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, and re-addition of Kevin Garnett, there’s legitimate excitement about basketball in Minnesota again.
Our thoughts are with Saunders and his family as his difficult fight continues. Get well, Flip!