Carlisle mourns the death of Saunders


DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle paid his respects to Minnesota Timberwolves president and coach Flip Saunders, who died Sunday from cancer at the age of 60.

Saunders was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in June, and had taken a leave of absence from the Timberwolves last month. He succumbed to the disease on Sunday, with Carlisle – he also is the president of the NBA Coaches Association – offering his condolences.

"The NBA Coaches Association mourns the passing of Flip Saunders,’’ Carlisle said. "Flip’s innovativeness, competitive integrity and longevity makes him one of the most respected coaches in NBA history.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the entire Saunders family. The NBA coaching profession has lost a great man.’’

NBA commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement in regards to Saunders’ passing.

"The NBA family is mourning today over the tragic loss of our friend and colleague, Flip Saunders,’’ Silver said. "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."

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