Kurt Rambis

The Minnesota Timberwolves struggled in dramatic fashion under head coach Kurt Rambis last season, finishing with a league-worst 17-65 record.

And while the team’s roster left Rambis little to work with, the front office apparently wasn’t impressed enough with Rambis to keep him around.

The Timberwolves today announced that the team has relieved Rambis of his coaching duties.

“I want to thank Kurt for his contributions to our franchise and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “His arrival signaled we were serious about building a championship-contending ballclub over the course of time. We have accumulated a solid nucleus of young talent with a bright future during the last two years. I am hopeful Kurt receives his share of the credit for helping develop that talent and his contributions are not forgotten as we become a better basketball team.

“It is always hard to make these decisions. It is especially hard when it involves somebody of Kurt’s reputation. Even so, this is the right time for us to make a head coaching change now that we’ve identified our roster and its specific needs.”

Rambis was named the ninth head coach of the Timberwolves on Aug. 10, 2009. In his two seasons as head coach of the Wolves, Rambis compiled a 32-132 record. Rambis joined the Wolves after serving as an assistant coach on Phil Jackson’s Los Angeles Lakers staff for seven seasons (2001-04, 2005-09).

The Wolves last season were led by Kevin Love (20.2 points and 15.2 rebounds per game) and Michael Beasley (19.2 points per game).

Minnesota has a few reasons to be optimistic that 2011-12 will be better for them, with young international point guard Ricky Rubio finally joining the squad, and the additional of rookie forward Derrick Williams, who the team selected No.2 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

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