You didn’t have to truly know Flip Saunders to get a sense of his humanity.
All you had to do, really, was keep your ears open to the basketball world that adored him. Or, for those without such access to the NBA community, take a peek at his Twitter account.
On Aug. 11, eight weeks after the Minnesota Timberwolves president and coach learned he had Hodgkins lymphoma and nearly 11 weeks before he was gone at the age of 60 on Sunday, Saunders offered this from his social media microphone:
“The outpouring of support today has been overwhelming, (and) has truly reminded me that the goodness of people should never be questioned.”
The same could always be said of him.
Saunders was widely seen as a man of decency, an intelligent and inclusive sort who coached at the college, minor league and professional level for nearly four decades and worked his way into the NBA’s top 20 when it comes to all-time wins. He was 654-592, between Mike Fratello and Chuck Daly after 17 seasons as a head coach with the Timberwolves (twice), Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards.
His relationship with Kevin Garnett was special, the future Hall of Fame…