Flip Saunders became one of the stranger subplots of the 2012 NBA playoffs, as the former NBA head coach who traveled with the Boston Celtics and contributed in some fashion to the team, whether it was by scouting opponents from the stands or playing bocce with Kevin Garnett prior to games. (Note: I don’t know whether the latter example is true, but you can imagine what it’d be like if it were.)
Now, Saunders is attempting to ease your mind. He is “positive” Garnett will return to the Celtics next season. (Minneapolis Star Tribune via Celtics Life)
I was basically in on every team meeting, every players meeting, every coaches meeting, the locker room, so it was pretty all-inclusive. It was a very good situation,” Saunders said. “I’ve known Doc from when Doc was my assistant coach on the Goodwill Games team when we played down in Australia [in 2001], him and myself and [Michigan State coach] Tom Izzo was also an assistant there. All three of us created a good friendship and when I was let go in Washington, Doc said, ‘Hey I’d like you to come in as an adviser.’ ”
Saunders said he also learned a lot of things from being around the Celtics organization that will help him if he lands another head coaching job.
One reason Rivers brought in Saunders was his great relationship with Kevin Garnett. And Saunders said that KG played like he did with the Wolves in 2003-04, when he was named league MVP.
“I remember when we drafted KG [in 1995], we said to him his first year, we played him as a small forward and I told him you’re going to be an All-Pro player as a power forward but you’re probably going to end your career as a center,” Saunders said. “And with Garnett playing center, the Celtics after the All-Star break had the third-best record in the NBA.”
Garnett really showed great strength at center in the postseason, averaging 19.2 points — his highest playoff average since 2007-08 — and 10.3 rebounds per game.
Saunders is positive Garnett, who is a free agent, will sign for another year with the Celtics, who have some rebuilding to do.
The article also said Saunders doesn’t want to join Doc Rivers’ staff next season.
But this is about Kevin Garnett. I hope Gorman and Saunders are right.