When you think of basketball in the state of Minnesota, you can't do so without thinking of Flip Saunders. On Thursday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves honored the great coach by raising a banner to the rafters at Target Center with the word "Flip".

For me personally, Flip is one of the reasons I love basketball. Growing up in Sioux Falls, he was the coach of the Skyforce before he became the Timberwolves GM then eventual head coach. Growing up, Skyforce basketball was my first taste of pro ball and really the team I followed the most as a kid.

Flip's connection with the Skyforce has always been a connection we had and a connection that allowed us to come together later on in life on multiple occasions.

When I went to college at the University of Minnesota, I attending 75% of the Twolves home games my freshman year. It was a combination of me spending too much of my student loan money and my friends parents having season tickets.

Regardless of the way I got into Target Center, I was watching the best season ever in Twolves history unfold in 2003-2004 with a guy I had known of since my childhood leading the way.

I ran into Flip on multiple occasions in the Twin Cities during my time in college and even took a couple of classes at the U of M with his son Ryan.

On all occasions, Flip took the time to talk to me and look back at the days of old in Sioux Falls and his current spot leading the Timberwolves.

As he eventually parted ways with Minnesota, so did I, as I moved to Nashville.

As I got into radio in Nashville, I had reached out to Flip and he joined us on our show to talk some hoops and it was a joy to hear his voice again.

Eventually, I moved back to my hometown to have my own show in Sioux Falls and it was during a time when Flip ended up going back to Minnesota as well.

Now with the dual role of running the team and coaching it, one would think Flip may just be too busy to join us in Sioux Falls to talk some basketball, but that certainly wasn't the case and in fact he joined us on multiple occasions.

We got to chat about the rebuild in Minnesota, his journey and once again, the good ole days of the CBA an his time in the 605.

Without Flip Saunders, I don't know if I would be as big of basketball fanatic as I am, but I do know that because of Flip Saunders, I got to watch a lot of great, innovative basketball that was always played the right way with Flip Saunders as the head coach.

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