Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders dies

MinnPost photo by Craig Lassig
Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders

Among those noting the death of Timberwolves coach, Flip Saunders is the Washington Post, another city where he once coached. Says Jorge Castillo, “Mr. Saunders, a beloved figure in NBA circles who spent more than 20 years in the league, announced in August he was he was being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and doctors considered the disease ‘very treatable and curable.’  … ‘The NBA family is mourning today over the tragic loss of our friend and colleague, Flip Saunders,’ NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. ‘Flip’s untimely passing has left a gaping hole in the fabric of our league. Flip was a beloved figure around the NBA, nowhere more so than in Minnesota, demonstrating a genuine and consistent passion for his players, his team and the game. On behalf of the NBA, we offer our most sincere condolences to Flip’s wife, Debbie, their four children and the entire Minnesota Timberwolves organization.’”

For the Strib, long-time Wolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda says, “Once wrongly told on Cleveland’s west-side playgrounds that a 5-2 freshman was too tiny to play for his high school’s varsity team, he grew — and the term is used loosely in a basketball context — to become an Ohio prep star, a Big Ten starter with the Gophers and a realist who soon thereafter knew his life’s work awaited in coaching. When an uncle once told him he wished little Flip were four inches taller, little Flip answered back, saying he wouldn’t have tried so hard if he had been four inches taller.”

Patrick Reusse of the Strib writes, “Flip was the kid coach who got us interested in a high-powered junior college team at Golden Valley Lutheran. Flip was the guy who could get you to drive to La Crosse, Wis., to watch his CBA Catbirds, just for the conversation. ‘He could walk into any room and get a conversation going,’ said Jon Roe, the Star Tribune’s beat reporter when Saunders played for the Gophers. ‘He had that personality, from the time he came here as an 18-year-old. It’s an amazing story, a kid from the most modest of backgrounds, becoming a part owner and president of an NBA team.’”

Marcus Fuller’s PiPress story has this: “‘Flip you were one of a kind,’ former Wolves star Kevin Love, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, said on Instagram. ‘Great basketball mind and even better human being. You had a great impact on my life personally and professionally. RIP my friend. Prayers are with the Saunders family during this time.’ Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said in a statement that ‘the Timberwolves have lost a brilliant leader, and Minnesota has lost an outstanding citizen. I extend my deepest condolences to Flip’s team, family, and friends.’”

The ESPN story says, “Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, who played for Saunders with the Timberwolves from 2003 to 2005, said he was in ‘a little bit of shock’ after learning of his death. ‘Flip played a huge part in my life. Everything from bringing me in and giving me a chance to taking a lot of the philosophy that he had’, Hoiberg said Sunday. ‘He was a great mentor, a great leader … a special, special person. And that’s the thing, you’re riding home on a plane win or lose — Flip was always upbeat. [He’d] talk to you, come back and see how you’re feeling, especially during struggles. He was a fatherly figure, such a caring individual. It’s just awful how this whole thing went down with the complications from his cancer. It’s just a sad, sad day. He’ll be greatly missed.’”

I didn’t even know there was a snapping turtle season. But the Forum News Service informs us, “One of the owners of Ketter’s meat market in Frazee has been charged with two misdemeanors for allegedly taking and possessing snapping turtles out of season. Kevin Robert Ketter, 54, of Frazee has been charged in Becker County District Court with possessing wild animals in violation of state law and taking snapping turtles in a closed season. … Numerous snapping turtles were brought into Ketter’s meat market by various vehicles for sale and/or processing from June 13 to June 18 , according to the DNR. Some of the vehicles were registered to employees at Ketter’s. The DNR officer checked and found that Ketter’s is not a licensed turtle seller in Minnesota.”

A new marketing angle for MNsure. The AP says, “After two years of missing the mark on enrollment projections, Minnesota’s health insurance exchange is heading into its third chapter armed with an unusual weapon: high insurance rates. With premiums on MNsure set to rise by as much as 49 percent next year, the exchange is putting its message touting financial help on steroids. The increasing costs mean larger subsidies that could offset premium hikes and, in some cases, extending financial help for the first time to some low-income residents who didn’t qualify before when rates were lower.”

Bill Salisbury of the PiPress has a piece on legislators on “bonding tours.” “During a visit to the medical examiner’s office in downtown Minneapolis last week, 20 members and staff of the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee got to watch — at least those who could stomach the sight — a forensic pathologist use what looked like a large spoon to remove the brain from a corpse on which he was performing an autopsy. At the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus, the group climbed worn wooden stairs to the attic of Pillsbury Hall, the school’s oldest and most iconic building, to get a firsthand look at the innards of the rock-solid, 126-year-old structure. … The fall of every other year is ‘bonding tour’ season for members of the House and Senate panels that will assemble bills next year to fund hundreds of public works projects across the state. The price tag next year likely will be around $1 billion.”

Big night in Austin. Brian Tabick of KIMT-TV reports, “The Austin Police Department and Mower County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call early Saturday morning of a fight involving guns and knives in front of a home on 1600 block of 6th Ave. NW. Authorities say when they arrived on scene just after 2 am, officers encountered several subjects in front of a house and detained them at gunpoint. According to reports, a group of subjects in a vehicle were stopped leaving the scene on the 600 block of 17th St NW.  Authorities say those subjects were detained at gunpoint as well.” Sounds like a moment out of “Fargo.”

He’s earning his money. The executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association writes a commentary up at the Winona Daily News. Says Craig Engwall, “ … hunters support more than 12,400 Minnesota jobs and generate $417 million in salaries and wages. But hunters don’t just support jobs and wages – they support the overall economy. Hunters as a whole in Minnesota spend about $986 million a year on equipment, lodging, gas and other things that are necessary to have a great hunting season. This breaks down to an average of over $1,500 per hunter. The full economic impact of hunting in Minnesota as we know it now is $1.3 billion. The bottom line is that hunting is essential to Minnesota’s future as a continuing Midwestern economic powerhouse.” So that’s how much per pound of venison?

Yeah, interest is a bummer … for you the borrower. In a Strib commentary, recent grad and student loan debtor Bill Boegeman writes, “Here’s the part that really makes me mad: For 12 months, I have been making student loan payments of just over $500 a month. That means that over the course of a year, I put about a $6,000 dent into my student loan debt, or so I thought. On Oct. 17, 2015, a year to the day after I began paying off my loans, my total student loan debt was … $82,264.27 If you don’t have a calculator handy, that adds up to just under $700 less than I owed a year ago— $700 out of the $6,000 I put in that actually went toward reducing my debt. That’s about 11 percent of the total amount paid, just enough to reduce my total debt by almost 1 percent. Where did the other 89 percent ($5,300) go? Interest. That’s messed up. I mean, c’mon, man, I understand interest. That’s why loans exist. The lender needs to see a return on their investment. I get it. But this is more than a return. This is a rip-off.” And then you (try to) buy a house.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 10/26/2015 - 08:55 am.

    Usury law and where abuse not sufficiently explored…

    It would be interesting and productive to do an investigative study of the Usury law…use, abuse and accountability?

    Has any political hopeful worth his weight in the voting booth revived the 8% issue and why it doesn’t apply?

    This is injustice in the area of student loans and in other areas of personal loans…must be more fraudulent practices out there to enlarge the scope of such blatant abuse?

    If the facts can be established, the “bank’, the loan institution runs itself like a mafia?

    Who can say unless someone challenges an old law, statutes lying dormant in the shadows of our banking institutions?

    Law suit with ties seems like a good dress code for our loaning institutions when a street loan and a bank share the same profile client abuse…who knows until the ‘Question’ becomes an active verb?

  2. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 10/26/2015 - 08:59 am.

    The cost of hunting & college loans

    No doubt these are contributing factors in the low hunting participation rate of our young.

    Young people like the commenter above, trying to pay off his college loan – and getting $700 principal reduction in a year when he made $6,000 in payments – are not very likely to participate in a sport so expensive when the burden of their loan is so heavy. And at the payment rate he quotes, it’ll be some years before he is out from under that burden.

    These burdensome college loans diminish the economic activity of ex-students.

    There is a broad-based chicanery taking place in higher education as the budgets of the institutions inflate and pass on the costs to students and their creditors, whose loans are guaranteed by the taxpayer.

    See http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/education/higher-education-subsidies:

    “Interestingly, the main effect of federal student aid programs may not be to transfer wealth from taxpayers to students as mentioned, but from taxpayers to academic institutions. That’s because the rise in student subsidies over the decades appears to have fueled inflation in education costs. Tuition and other college costs have soared as subsidies have risen.”

  3. Submitted by Frank Jaskulke on 10/26/2015 - 09:56 pm.

    Student loan interest

    It is likely that the student loan interest is being amortized like a mortgage. That means the early payments are mostly interest and as the principal declines a larger amount the payment goes to principal.

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