By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It is a significant day for the Minnesota Timberwolves and for the NBA. Gersson Rosas is the first Latino to lead a franchise.

“I came to this country, fell in love with basketball and knew that that’s where I wanted to be in my future. And it was the road less traveled – a lot of ups and downs,” said Rosas, who spent 17 years with the Houston Rockets.

He now needs to be ready to make moves.

“We have a person here who has flexibility. No matter what we have today, we can probably make it better, and he’s willing to take a chance to do it,” said Glen Taylor, who owns the Timberwolves.

Which means question No. 1: Will Ryan Saunders be the permanent head coach?

“We are going to hire the best person for that job,” Rosas said. “We’re going to build out a structure of excellence there and we’re gonna do everything we can day in and day out to make sure that Glen, Becky are proud of the work we’re doing.”

He also worked with J.B. Bickerstaff in Houston, who was just fired as Memphis head coach – again, noncommittal.

“Quality man, hard-working, I know he’s a talented basketball individual,” Rosas said.

In Houston, they have a successful philosophy – get the ball to James Harden and clear it out. It’s simple. Could it be duplicated in some way with Karl-Anthony Towns?

“You can’t just want to play that way and not have that level of player. For us, we’re going to maximize the greatness we have here,” Rosas said. “Everything we’re gonna do with Karl offensively, defensively roster-wise is to maximize who he is as a player. I have belief and I have a strong commitment to make sure he becomes the best player under our watch.”

When asked what makes Rosas’s leadership different, Rosas said it starts with a strong philosophy.

“No. 1, it’s a strong philosophy; No. 2, it’s alignment from top to bottom; and No. 3, I get it, it’s going to be actions over words,” Rosas said. “We gotta show you, we can’t tell you, and they’re going to feel a tangible difference when this team hits the ground.”

Mike Max

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