m8837 BC-BKN-Timberwolves-McH 1stLd-Writethru 06-17 0538
Love tweets that McHale will not return to Wolves
Eds: UPDATES with details, background.
By JON KRAWCZYNSKI
AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love said on Twitter that Kevin McHale will not return as coach next season.
In an update posted early Wednesday, Love tweeted, "Today is a sad day ... Kevin McHale will NOT be back as head coach this season."
Upon seeing the posting, a person in the league was told McHale sent a text message to Love indicating he was not coming back. The person requested anonymity because no official announcement has been made.
New team president David Kahn and a Timberwolves spokesman did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press.
McHale and Love grew very close during the rookie’s first season in Minnesota, especially after McHale left his front office position to take over as coach in December. About an hour after his initial posting, Love appeared to express some regret about making McHale’s correspondence public.
"P.S. I am not a breaking news guy..." Love tweeted. "I had no idea no one knew..I’ll tell them I stayed at a holiday inn express (sic) last night. Always works...."
During a breakfast with media members on Monday, Kahn said no decision had been made and he hoped to meet with McHale again this week.
Team owner Glen Taylor hired Kahn last month to take the spot vacated when Taylor inserted McHale as coach for the fired Randy Wittman. Ever since he was hired, Kahn pledged to handle the decision on McHale’s job status with professionalism and respect.
McHale, who grew up on Minnesota’s Iron Range and starred at the University of Minnesota, has been with the organization for 15 years. Most of that time was spent as the primary decision maker on personnel matters until Taylor made him coach.
"Kevin has a long history here and a relationship with the owner that I respect and trust," Kahn said at his introductory press conference. "I will not hurt Kevin McHale. I will not."
On Friday, Kahn said his primary efforts were focused on the June 25 NBA draft and he didn’t think a decision on McHale needed to be made before then.
"The draft has a deadline," Kahn said. "The coaching decision doesn’t."
Still, McHale’s absence from team workouts involving potential draft picks in the last two weeks has been noticeable, as was his exclusion from an eight-hour state of the team meeting Sunday involving Kahn and the rest of the basketball staff.
The rebuilding Timberwolves showed improvement under his relentlessly positive coaching style, and every player has said they would like to see McHale return to the bench next season.
"If there’s some kind of way that he leaves the Timberwolves," star forward Al Jefferson said in April, "that’s when I’ll be very, very upset."