Remembering Flip Saunders

(DC UrbanSports) - We're still trying to rap our heads around the death of Phillip Daniel 'Flip' Saunders, former coach of the Washington Wizards.

Saunders died after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in August of this year.

Flip Saunders with Wizards' general manager Ernie Grunfield.  
DC UrbanSports was there when Saunders was introduced as head coach of the Washington Wizards in 2009.   He was excited about coaching and spoke about team trust.

"You have to be willing to trust your team mates", he said during the media presser. "When you trust your team mates, it's not just you against the world, you're doing it together."

[See also: Flip Saunders coached Wizards under "Character. Committment. Connection. Coach!" slogan]

Saunders was bought on to help the Wizards get to the playoffs, but after three dismal years with the organization he was eventually fired.  The Wizards had a 2-15 record and was ranked last in the NBA.

Saunders ushered in the John Wall era of the Washington Wizards.   Wall remembered his former coach and friend this week on Instagram as someone that helped him "grow as both a man and a NBA player."   Kevin Garnett, who played for Saunders as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, also remembered Saunders, as did Randy Wittman who replaced Saunders as head coach.

"It' a tough day", Wittman said on the loss of his friend.

Washington, D.C. sports reporter Mark Gray, host of SportsGrooveTV, reflects on his time with Saunders in the below video.

In the video Saunders speaks of the excitement of acquiring John Wall as the #1 NBA draft pick, and "embracing the challenge."


Flip Saunders was sixty.  He is survived by his wife Debbie and four children Mindy, Rachel and Kimberly (twins), and son Ryan.

See also
The NBA remembers Saunders
Wizards owner Abe Pollin 

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