Karl-Anthony Towns Shows Support for Vanterpool After Lillard Criticizes Wolves

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2021

Minnesota Timberwolves assistant head coach David Vanterpool in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, in Denver. The Nuggets won 109-100. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Minnesota Timberwolves hired Chris Finch as the team's head coach to replace Ryan Saunders, but Karl-Anthony Towns gave a shoutout to David Vanterpool after the associate head coach was passed over for the position.

"Very happy for Coach Finch. I'm excited to play for him," Towns told reporters Tuesday. "But I would not be doing justice ... by mentioning David Vanterpool is an amazing coach with an amazing IQ that is going to do amazing things."

Vanterpool is in his second season with the Timberwolves after spending the previous seven years with the Portland Trail Blazers, and many believed he was the clear choice to take over. Minnesota, however, went with the rare move of hiring Finch off another team's staff midseason.       

"Men of color deserve a chance to be coaches in this league," Towns added.

The praise for Vanterpool comes after Trail Blazers stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum questioned why he wasn't given the chance to lead the team:

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Finch is certainly qualified for the position, with over 20 years of experience coaching professional basketball, including time as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Pelicans, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets.

The 51-year-old will now try to turn things around for a team that entered Tuesday with an NBA-worst 7-24 record.