Minneapolis-St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves have announced additional details surrounding “Flip Saunders Night” on Thursday, February 15 as the Wolves play host to the Los Angeles Lakers at Target Center.
The pregame ceremony and the unveiling of a permanent banner to honor the memory of Flip will take place at approximately 7:15 pm. Doors will open at 6:30 pm to accommodate the early crowd arrival for the ceremony.
The team has worked with the Saunders family to make the evening about raising awareness and funds for the “Flip Saunders Legacy Fund.” The fund was established to aid and support deserving individuals and groups to continue to portray the positive impact of the life of Flip Saunders.
Renowned custom sneaker shop Kickstradomis will be creating a different pair of custom sneakers for each Timberwolves player, with each pair inspired by Flip. The shoes will be auctioned off at the game outside of section 118, with bids being accepted through the end of halftime. During halftime, the Wolves have commissioned speed painter David Garibaldi to create a piece of art live honoring Flip’s memory. The painting and the team’s game-worn jerseys from that evening’s contest will both be part of a postgame auction. All proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Flip Saunders Legacy Fund. The Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation will also make a $5,000 donation in-game to the fund.
Additionally, all fans in attendance will receive a Flip Saunders commemorative coin. One of Flip’s trademarks during his tenure with the Wolves was to create a new team coin each season for players and front office staff, then randomly give them to people he would encounter as a way to include fans on that season’s journey.
“Minnesota has always been our family’s home,” said Debbie Saunders, widow of Flip Saunders. “Flip not only had a passion for the Timberwolves but for basketball in the State of Minnesota. We are incredibly grateful to the Timberwolves for memorializing Flip in such a moving way and having his memory live on inside Target Center forever.”
“Flip meant so much to our organization as a coach, but he meant so much more to all of us as a friend,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “His impact on our organization and what he meant to the Minnesota basketball community is something that will always be with us. It is appropriate that we honor the man who meant so much to us with of a banner in our home arena that will forever fortify his memory.”
Saunders compiled an overall record of 427-392 (.521) in 12 seasons covering two different stints with the organization. From 1995-2005, he guided the Timberwolves to eight consecutive playoff appearances, highlighted by an appearance in the 2004 NBA Western Conference Finals. Upon his return in 2013, Saunders assumed the role of President of Basketball Operations. Prior to the 2014-15 season, Saunders added the duties of head coach to his responsibilities. In addition to the Timberwolves, Saunders was head coach of the Detroit Pistons (2005-2008), guiding them to three straight appearances in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Saunders also was the head coach of the Washington Wizards (2009-2011) prior to his return to Minnesota.
For tickets to the Thursday, February 15 game and all other Timberwolves home games at Target Center, visit www.timberwolves.com . The Timberwolves have won 12 consecutive games at home, the longest current home winning streak in the NBA and two short of the franchise record of 14 consecutive home wins during the 2003-04 regular season. The game against the Lakers serves as the final game in an upcoming three-game homestand which begins Sunday, February 11 against the Sacramento Kings.
Contact Information: Kirsten Wenker, firstname.lastname@example.org , 612-673-8419