The Minnesota Timberwolves fired their president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas on Wednesday, a rather stunning move given training camp is set to begin in a week.
The statement from Wolves owner Glen Taylor was succinct, to say the least, and didn’t even include the typical token compliment to the person you’re firing on their way out. That, along with the timing, seemed to indicate that this decision was precipitated by something worse than just your typical executive getting fired for poor performance. Late Wednesday night, we got far more detail into what went down and why Rosas was let go immediately from The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania, who published a detailed report about how the Wolves came to this decision.
This was the culmination of a months-long investigation into complaints about the working environment under Rosas in the front office, which showed internal dysfunction and frustration about long hours and what was felt to be a lack of input into decisions. Executive VP of basketball operations Sachin Gupta, who has now taken over on an interim basis and could be the full-time hire, not being allowed to take a job with the Rockets for more money but the same title was among the examples cited as leading to complaints about Rosas’ leadership style. There was also his handling of firing Ryan Saunders and hiring Chris Finch almost immediately without a complete search, as well as frustrations from agents about promises not kept and Rosas’ handling of player and agent relationships.
In summation, it appears to have been compounding issues that led to “dysfunction,” as The Athletic put it, but part of the reason for his immediate ouster was an affair he had been having with someone in the Timberwolves offices that came to light recently.
In recent days, the organization discovered that Rosas, who is married, had a consensual intimate relationship with a member of the organization, The Athletic has learned from multiple sources. It made several people within the organization uncomfortable, sources said. While this was not the reason for Rosas’ dismissal, it certainly impacted the timing.
CBS Minnesota had reported likewise earlier in the evening that an “inappropriate relationship” had contributed to his firing on Wednesday, and while The Athletic’s report quotes a source as saying the decision was “performance related,” it certainly seems to have accelerated the decision to let him go.
In total, Rosas’ downfall in Minnesota seems to have followed a path many executives have, where promises of a family environment are met with a reality of cold business decisions made that rub longtime members of an organization the wrong way and, when coupled with a lack of on-court success, that dysfunction builds to a place where something like an extramarital affair in the office is enough to tip the scales completely.