NBA world reacts to death of Timberwolves coach Saunders

MINNEAPOLIS — Reactions to the death of Minnesota Timberwolves president, coach and minority owner Flip Saunders:

"The NBA family is mourning today over the tragic loss of our friend and colleague, Flip Saunders. With more than 40 years around the game, 20 of them in the NBA, Flip’s untimely passing has left a gaping hole in the fabric of our league. Flip was a beloved figure around the NBA, nowhere more so than in Minnesota, demonstrating a genuine and consistent passion for his players, his team and the game. On behalf of the NBA, we offer our most sincere condolences to Flip’s wife, Debbie, their four children and the entire Minnesota Timberwolves organization." — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

Some of the Timberwolves’ young players expressed their feelings about Saunders’ death.

But Kevin Garnett, who has spent the majority of his career with the Timberwolves, had the most touching tribute.  

Forever in my heart….

Posted by Kevin Garnett on Sunday, October 25, 2015

Others from around the league shared their thoughts and prayers:

"This is a very sad day and my heart, my prayers and condolences go out to the entire Saunders family. Flip was more than just a friend, he was a confidant and a mentor. The basketball world lost a `coaches’ coach’ today, and I lost a great friend." — Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers.

——

"It is with tremendous sorrow that the Detroit Pistons organization acknowledges the passing of Flip Saunders. He will be remembered by Pistons fans as one of the franchise’s most successful head coaches – leading the club to three consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearances and a franchise-record 64 wins in 2005-06. Flip was a great ambassador for the Metro Detroit community and had a positive influence on those who had the opportunity to spend time with him. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Debbie, his children Ryan, Mindy, Rachel, Kimberly and all his friends throughout the extended Detroit Pistons and NBA family." — Detroit Pistons.

——

"Flip Saunders and his journey through the game at all levels is a great example for all of us. He had an incredible passion and exuberance for the game itself, matched only by his love for the state of Minnesota. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Flip’s family and the entire Timberwolves organization." — Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti.