Tom Thibodeau insists his new role with the Minnesota Timberwolves is "not about power"

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are about to embark on a new dawn with a bright future firmly on the horizon for the franchise.  

They possess one of the youngest teams in the NBA and some talented players that have the ability to go on and become superstars, such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

The man tasked with nurturing the talent that Minnesota has at its disposal is former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.  

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After signing a five-year deal worth $40m, Thibodeau was named as head coach and president of basketball operations last week and will be expected to lead the Timberwolves back to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.

It is a lot of power for a man who has been out of the game for a year following his departure from Chicago in the summer of 2015.  


In the Windy City, Thibodeau endured an obvious power struggle and after disagreements with the Bulls front office, his departure was inevitable.

He will not have any such problems in Minnesota, though, as he has been given the reigns to control multiple aspects - working alongside his good friend Scott Layden - but the new Wolves coach claims he didn't accept the job on this premise.

"For me, personally, this is about alignment," Thibodeau said Tuesday in a news conference to unveil him in his new role. "It's not about power. It's not about any of that stuff. I've known Scott a long time. We've shared philosophies with each other about certain things. He was the person that I really wanted. So I'm glad we had the opportunity to get him." 

Scott Layden joins Thibs in Minnesota after four years as an assistant general manager in San Antonio. The two men worked together when Layden was the general manager at the New York Knicks and Thibs was an assistant coach to Jeff Van Gundy in 1999.

"I was an assistant coach at the time, and he talked to me all the time about 'what do you see, what do you think,'" Thibodeau said. "Those were important questions to me."


Thibodeau was the most sought-after coach on the market and the Timberwolves have pulled off a coup with the likes of the L.A. Lakers, New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings all looking for new coaches.   

Owner Glen Taylor dug deep into his pockets to bring Thibodeau and Layden together to reshape a franchise that has been languishing in mediocrity for over a decade.  

With an impressive group of youngsters, Taylor believed now was the time to act as he senses something special about to happen.

"We have an outstanding group of young players," Taylor said. "And this is a unique opportunity for us to go for the championship again. Not for one year. Not for two years. But over many years if we can put this together right."

New start

For Thibodeau, it is a return to the place where he spent two years as an assistant coach from 1989-1991 under Bill Musselman.

The 58-year-old is looking forward to a fresh start and reveals he has used the time off to reflect and learn, insisting he has no regrets and ill-feeling towards his time in Chicago. 

"I learned a lot from that whole situation," Thibodeau said. "Most of my experience there was very, very positive. When you look back, nothing's going to be perfect. But in the end, when you look at it all, I look back on that experience as very positive for me."

Western Conference
Minnesota Timberwolves
Northwest Division
Karl-Anthony Towns
Andrew Wiggins

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