Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach and NBA lifer, Flip Saunders, passed away at the way too young age of 60.

Flip Saunders, head coach and President of Basketball Operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, died Sunday of cancer at age 60. The team announced tragically announced the news.

During the initial diagnosis, it was said that Saunders’ cancer was treatable and that he would be back as coach of the Timberwolves this season.

On Saturday it was announced that he would miss the season. Saunders coached in the NBA for 17 seasons and made stops with three different organizations. His tenures with Minnesota are the most memorable, but he was very successful with the Detroit Pistons as well. He led them to back to back Eastern Conference Finals. But Minnesota was where he clearly belonged.

After being fired in 2005, the Timberwolves brought him back nearly ten years later in 2013. They didn’t want him to coach, they wanted him to run the team. Just a year later he was back on the bench coaching. He was a coach. What did anyone expect? Current New York Knicks’ Associate Head Coach Kurt Rambis took to Twitter to share his thoughts on Saunders.

Saunders was building a special young team in Minnesota. It’s a shame he won’t be able to see his project through. It will be hard not to root for the Timberwolves this year.

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I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.