MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A day after being introduced as the new head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tom Thibodeau spent part of his Wednesday afternoon on WCCO Radio with Chad and Sid Hartman.
It was all part of a busy last 36 hours for Thibodeau. After meeting the media at Target Center on Tuesday, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Minnesota Twins game against the Cleveland Indians. His hour Wednesday was part of a series of interviews with several outlets.
Thibodeau agreed to terms last week to be the Timberwolves’ head coach and president of basketball operations, the same capacities that Flip Saunders had before his passing. He said Wednesday it’s been a whirlwind for him since the NBA regular season came to a close and he started taking a serious look at available coaching jobs.
He said it was a number of things that brought him to the Timberwolves. He wants a talented roster that has a chance to grow, he wants to get to know the owner (Glen Taylor) and general manager (Scott Layden) the he will be working for and he wants an overall commitment to winning. He said he wanted to make sure he had a chance to win. He’ll get his chance with the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio and others.
“I believe it’s the best young roster in the NBA,” Thibodeau told WCCO Radio, the broadcast partner of the Timberwolves. “You’ve got Towns, Wiggins, LaVine, Rubio, (Gorgui) Dieng, Shabazz (Muhammad), Tyus (Jones) and another high draft pick. That’s a lot to build around.”
Thibodeau said Wednesday he’s spoken with about half the players on the current roster and hopes to meet with all of them individually soon. He wants to go over the plan for the 2016-17 season, establish what they want to accomplish and build trust among the players.
“I have to develop a plan. One that our players believe in and can get us the most success,” Thibodeau said. “We have to lay the foundation of how we’re going to work before we get to training camp and go from there.”
That starts with working alongside Layden and developing a plan for free agency and the NBA Draft.
But with one of the best and most highly-respected coaches in the NBA leading the Timberwolves, there is plenty to be excited about heading into next season.