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Timberwolves sign Finch to four-year contract extension

AP – The Minnesota Timberwolves signed head coach Chris Finch to a four-year contract extension yesterday, coming off the franchise’s best finish in 20 seasons.

Finch steered the Timberwolves to a 56-26 regular-season record, their second-best ever, before they reached the Western Conference finals and lost in five games to Dallas. The only other time in 35 years since the franchise joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) that the Wolves advanced past the first round of the playoffs was 2004.

With a .557 winning percentage over three-and-a-half seasons, Finch (160-127) is the all-time Timberwolves leader. The late Flip Saunders (427-392), who led the 2004 team to the Western Conference finals, had a .521 winning percentage over 11 seasons. Saunders and Finch are the only two Wolves coaches with 100-plus wins. “I’m proud of the way we’ve been able to establish a great culture here with the Timberwolves, and I look forward to continuing to lead this organisation and make our fans proud,” Finch said in a statement distributed by the team.

The Wolves led the league with 37 wins against Western Conference opponents and had the NBA’s best defence, posting a 108.4 defensive rating. Finch and his staff were also selected to coach the Western Conference team in the All-Star game.

“Chris is a wonderful coach, and an even better person,” president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said in the statement. “We are thrilled that he is being rewarded with a well-earned extension. Under his guidance the team has improved every year. He’s the perfect leader for our organisation.”

Finch was hired by Connelly’s predecessor, Gersson Rosas, on February 21, 2021, to replace the fired Ryan Saunders. He was previously given an extension on April 11, 2022. The 54-year-old Finch was an assistant with Houston, Denver, New Orleans and Toronto before getting his big break in Minnesota.

The two-time NCAA Division III All-American at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania played for the Sheffield Sharks in the British Basketball League and later coached the same team from 1997-2003. Finch also coached Britain’s national team in the 2012 Olympics.

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch. PHOTO: AP
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