T-Wolves' Gersson Rosas: David Vanterpool's Day Will Come After Chris Finch Hire

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2021

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders, right, addresses the media as Timberwolves President Gersson Rosas listens during the NBA basketball team's media day Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Minnesota Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas discussed the challenges for minorities in the NBA after his team passed over David Vanterpool for its head coach vacancy.

"I know there are more hurdles for minorities. I had to leap over those personally, and it's why I put internal programs in place to help all of our staff be prepared for the next step," Rosas said in a statement, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. "I know David's day will come."

The Timberwolves fired head coach Ryan Saunders but instead of elevating Vanterpool from associate head coach to the interim coach, the team hired Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch.

Rosas, who is the only Latino team president in the NBA, told reporters Tuesday the Timberwolves also considered Vanterpool and other minority candidates.

While Finch has an impressive resume, the move was criticized for not giving Vanterpool the opportunity.

"It's typical of the Black coaching experience in the NBA," one Black NBA head coach told Spears. "They use your skill set during the difficult times, but when it's time to reward you with an opportunity, they always seem to find a reason to not, and then expect you to continue to be the good soldier."

"Men of color deserve a chance to be coaches in this league," Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns said after praising Vanterpool.

Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum also called for Vanterpool to get a head coaching job:

CJ McCollum @CJMcCollum

Make it make sense. Respectfully. https://t.co/4crtNzWV0W

The coach was an assistant with the Trail Blazers for seven years before joining the Timberwolves in 2019.

Vanterpool will now have to wait for another opportunity in the future.