Most around the NBA were taken aback when the Timberwolves this week hired a new head coach from an opposing team to a multi-year contract in the immediate aftermath of firing incumbent Ryan Saunders, but it was more than just surprising, according to the National Basketball Coaches Association.
“We would be remiss not to acknowledge a deeper concern and level of disappointment with the Minnesota head coaching process,” union president Rick Carlisle and executive director David Fogel said in a joint statement. “We must establish a level playing field and equal access to opportunity for all coaching candidates.”
The National Basketball Coaches Association issues statement on the Minnesota Timberwolves’ process in hiring new coach Chris Finch: pic.twitter.com/vYZZb2kmQW
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 24, 2021
Not only did Finch, a white assistant for the Raptors who worked with Minnesota general manager Gersson Rosas in Houston many years ago, get hired after a behind-the-scenes search, but he seemingly jumped ahead of David Vanterpool, the Wolves’ Black associate head coach who joined the franchise in 2019, to get the job.
And while Finch did interview with Minnesota back in 2019 and can point to his relationship with Rosas as the starting point for his hire, the fact that Rosas and the Timberwolves’ braintrust conducted this “search” stealthily while the season was ongoing means they were not subject to the same type of scrutiny and deliberation that typically occur in the offseason.