MINNEAPOLIS - When Flip Saunders officially took over as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, he assumed a unique position of power in the NBA.
Saunders is now the team president, the head coach and a part-owner in Minnesota. The status gives him as much influence on his team as any one person in the league, and he says he's ready to handle it.
The Clippers' Doc Rivers, the Pistons' Stan Van Gundy and the Spurs' Gregg Popovich wield both front office and coaching authority. Now Saunders joins that list.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor says it's not his preferred setup. And he is leaving open the option that Saunders will move back into the front office exclusively in the near future.
But both say it was the best option available.