Sidney Lowe rejoins Flip Saunders, hired by Wolves


MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves have again hired Sidney Lowe as an assistant coach for the staff being assembled by Flip Saunders.

The Wolves announced Friday the addition of Lowe, who will coach with Saunders for the fourth time. Lowe had two previous stints under Saunders in Minnesota and also once in Detroit.

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Saunders, who has been President of Basketball

Operations for the Wolves for the past year, decided to make himself the head coach, too, after his search hit a dead end. Lowe reached out to Saunders soon after that and said Friday he had no qualms about taking the job with Saunders only planning to hold the position until he can find the right replacement.

“I said I’m coming no matter what. It doesn’t matter who calls, I’m coming,” Lowe said. “That’s my belief in him, my trust in him, my loyalty to him and our friendship. It didn’t matter what was out there. When he called me back, it was done.”

Lowe’s final season as an NBA player was 1989-90 with the Timberwolves in their first year as a franchise, and later he served as their head coach for a season and a half until 1994. In between those jobs, he was even a television analyst for the team for a year. More recently, Lowe was an assistant with Utah the last three seasons. Before that, he was the head coach at alma mater North Carolina State for five years.

The Saunders-Lowe relationship actually began in the CBA, when Lowe played for Saunders with Rapid City during the 1988-89 season. Lowe was ready to give up on his playing career, but Saunders talked him into sticking it out, which led to an NBA call-up with Charlotte.

The rest of the staff was still being worked on, but former Timberwolves player and ex-Toronto coach Sam Mitchell is expected to be included. With Lowe and Mitchell, Saunders has two former NBA head coaches he can turn to while multi-tasking as the chief decision-maker over the roster.

“We know what he needs, not just from the basketball side but working with the players, developing players,” Lowe said. “We’re there to take care of a lot of the stuff that he doesn’t need to worry about.”

Lowe spoke to reporters after a pre-draft workout with six prospects, including Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, Penn State guard Tim Frazier and Ohio State forward LaQuinton Ross. The Wolves also announced a group of six more players scheduled to work out at the arena Saturday, including California guard Justin Cobbs, Michigan State forward Adreian Payne and Marquette forward Jamil Wilson. Cobbs started his career at Minnesota before transferring.