T-Wolves TV announcer ethers Tom Thibodeau over ‘traumatic tenure’
A Minnesota Timberwolves television analyst went scorched earth on Tom Thibodeau, stating the recently dismissed head coach sealed his fate by treating people horribly.
Jim Petersen, the T-Wolves’ longtime color commentator for FOX Sports North, did not hold back during an appearance this week on 1500 ESPN’s “Raised by Wolves” podcast when assessing Thibodeau’s demeanor, coaching style and interpersonal skills, or lack thereof.
“Thibs was very traumatic. It was a very traumatic tenure for me and for a lot of people,” Peterson said, as transcribed by Clutch Points. “Just for the way that he operates and how he treats people. The way he communicated with either individuals and groups and different parts of the organization … it was a very, very difficult three years or two-and-a-half, whatever it’s been. So when he was let go it felt like so many people were let out of prison. He was just so oppressive that everyone is just walking around on eggshells all the time.”
Petersen closed his comments with one final, brutal salvo.
“I don’t have any sympathy for someone who treats people so poorly,” he said.
Thibodeau, who also served as the Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations, was shockingly relieved of his duties for both positions on Sunday night. He had only been with the Timberwolves organization for two-and-a-half years.
The writing appeared to be on the wall that Thibodeau’s job with the Timberwolves was in jeopardy after he bungled Jimmy Butler’s offseason trade demand and ensuing fallout, a situation so mishandled that owner Glen Taylor was left clearly unimpressed.
Minnesota will now make a go of it with 32-year-old Ryan Saunders, the son of legendary Timberwolves coach/executive Flip Saunders, who passed away at the age of 60 in October 2015 after a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The first-time head coach appears to have a good rapport with the team’s younger players and got his career off to a great start with a thrilling road victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Game No. 2 comes Friday when the T-Wolves host the Dallas Mavericks at Target Center.