TV analyst says many with organization have been ‘let out of prison’ with Tom Thibodeau firing
Minnesota Timberwolves TV analyst Jim Petersen didn’t hold back any of his thoughts in a lucid rant as a guest of the Raised By Wolves podcast on ESPN 1500. The long-time radio voice and television commentator laid it all on the line when it came to Tom Thibodeau’s two-and-a-half-year tenure in Minnesota, which that came to an abrupt end at the halfway mark of this season.
“Thibs was very traumatic. It was a very traumatic tenure for me and for a lot of people,” said Petersen. “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.”
“I don’t have any sympathy for someone who treats people so poorly.”
Petersen is just one of many that share this sentiment, as Thibodeau wasn’t the most personable of people to ever take the reins in a dual role of head coach and president of basketball operations. Thibodeau’s old school and often flippant attitude had grown tiresome in many around the organization, but the situation was at least bearable given the results. Last season, the Timberwolves made their first trip to the playoffs in the last 14 years.
New coach Ryan Saunders is reminiscent of his late father Flip, charming and charismatic, and the type who will do wonders as a players’ coach and an active face in the community.