Well, today’s been quite a day.
This was where we began, at 1:32 PM CST:
There is also a rising belief in NBA coaching circles that Wolves interim coach Sam Mitchell could be ousted once the regular season ends.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 13, 2016
This is nine hours later, courtesy of Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press:
Wolves official release is definitive: Sam Mitchell relieved of coaching duties. Search begins for new coach and president of basketball ops
— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) April 13, 2016
In between, the Wolves’ plan trickled out slowly, and to several different reporters. An hour and a half later, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Wolves were set to have an open search, with Sam Mitchell included in the interview process. Dawn Mitchell (no relation) of Fox 9 reported that the search would NOT include Sam Mitchell, and that it would focus exclusively on external candidates. And finally, sometime in the fourth quarter of the Wolves’ blowout win, the A.P. Sports Guy tied up all the loose ends.
Korn Ferry, which I have been told is NOT a leisure cruise line specializing in party boats for fans of the 1990s rock band, but instead a top-notch search firm, will lead the Wolves’ effort to find a new coach and President of Basketball Operations. Less than an hour after the game, Mitchell was relieved of his duties, per a team statement. Jon’s updated story clarifies that Milt Newton will not be considered as the permanent P.O.B.O., meaning the Wolves will be with entirely new basketball operations leadership next season.
That was apparently news to Sam Mitchell, who told the assembled media after the game that he planned to take a few weeks off before beginning draft preparation, as his contract expired on June 30th. So much for that; if Mitchell was in the know, he didn’t let on. If he wasn’t, that’s some bush-league nonsense; it’s a damn shame that the Wolves’ organization leaked all this before the Wolves’ final game of the season.
But the fact remains that Glen Taylor, an owner notorious for sticking to people he knows and taking the path of least resistance, diverted from more than 20 years of modus operandi and made the cold, savvy, calculated decision to try to find the right person, previous ties and familiarity be damned. I am, quite frankly, stunned at his pragmatism.
More to follow from all of us in the coming days, I’m sure.