Sunday’s 90-84 loss at Denver dropped the T-Wolves’ ’08 mark to 1-8, and while the human sacrifice of Randy Wittman seems like a sensible enough move, the Star-Tribune’s Patrick Reusse has a far more bold proposition. “There are few things more beneficial to the human spirit than burying the hatchet,” wheezes Reusse, “Taylor should place a call this week — this morning, actually — to the Medina home of Phil and Deborah Saunders and ask the man of the house for a sitdown.”
Saunders was fired after last season for failing to get the Pistons through the Eastern Conference finals for a third year in a row. Obviously, that’s a franchise with high standards — 176 regular-season victories and 30 playoff victories in three years and the coach is out the door.
Saunders never did buy the main reason McHale offered for his firing — that the team had stopped listening to him. And the current coach, Randy Wittman, regularly analyzes defeat with admissions of being unable to get through to his players.
“We’re not committed individually, and we’re not committed as a team defensively. … If I get my touches, that’s all they’re concerned about.”
So, what he’s actually telling the sporting public is this, right? “I’m the coach. Through my best efforts, we are offering a team that is selfish, confused and heartless.”
This woebegone operation needs credibility. Firing Wittman and replacing him with Fred Hoiberg as coach offers none. Firing Wittman and continuing to cede all personnel power to McHale offers none.
It’s time for Taylor to call Medina and make this offer to a coach with a .597 winning percentage in the NBA: Flip, you come back as coach, Hoiberg gets the GM title but you make the roster decisions, and we let McHale save some face as a “special adviser” — with no advice needed.