The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the organization is parting ways with long-time basketball executive/head coach Kevin McHale. The NBA Hall of Famer spent 16 seasons with the Timberwolves organization in several different capacities, including VP of Basketball Operations and head coach.
“I would like to thank Kevin McHale for his many years of service to the Timberwolves organization,” said Wolves owner Glen Taylor. “When we hired David Kahn as our President of Basketball Operations, I gave him my full support to make an evaluation and decision regarding our coaching situation. I know that David made a careful analysis and this decision was made with the best interests of the Minnesota Timberwolves in mind. I will be forever grateful for the work Kevin did in returning to his home state and assembling a team that made eight straight playoff appearances. Kevin brought an enormous amount of basketball talent and passion to our organization and I wish him nothing but the best.”
“I have the deepest respect for Kevin McHale and his many accomplishments as a player, basketball executive and basketball coach — especially those that have occurred in the State of Minnesota,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn. “Under Kevin’s leadership, the Timberwolves reached the Western Conference Finals once and were a perennial playoff team for a number of years.
“I did not know Kevin McHale until I took this job and can tell you that he is an even better person than most understand. He is warm, bright, upbeat and relentlessly optimistic. He cares about making players the best they can be. Because of those qualities, I thought long and hard with him about whether we could create an environment where he and the team could succeed next season with him as head coach.
“We will have a team in transition for the next few years as we build through the draft, trades and free agency. Because of the changes that have already occurred and are likely forthcoming, I believed it would have been difficult for everybody involved to put Kevin in this position.
“I hope people will join me in recognizing the many successes Kevin had in building the Timberwolves.”
McHale began with the Wolves in 1993 after a storied career with the Boston Celtics, where he averaged 17.9 points and 7.3 rebounds over his 13-year career. McHale helped lead the Celtics to NBA titles in 1980, 1984 and 1986. With the Wolves, McHale moved from special assistant in 1993-94 to assistant general manager in 1994-95 to VP of Basketball Operations in 1995-96. This past season, McHale relinquished this role to take over the head coaching duties on Dec. 8, 2008. During McHale’s 14 seasons as VP of Basketball Operations/head coach the Wolves compiled a 527-526 record, made eight straight playoff appearances and played in the Western Conference Finals in 2004.
Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.