Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports

On Sunday we all heard the news that no one wanted to hear: Flip Saunders had passed away. The Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and part-owner had been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma since June and had recently relinquished his coaching position to Sam Mitchell. Saunders joined the Timberwolves in May 1995 and one month later the team took a risk by drafting Kevin Garnett straight out of high school. Saunders would coach Garnett for 11 years (over two different stints) and Garnett was obviously affected by his coach and friend’s death. KG took to social media with a powerful tribute to the man who brought him into the NBA 20 years ago:

Many other players who played for or against Saunders also shared tributes:

Ross Kelly is an Associated Producer for CBS Local Sports. He is from Louisiana and is a fan of all sports, but not of any teams (except LSU). He can be reached at ross.kelly@cbs.com.