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Updated: July 12th, 2011 10:51am
Timberwolves officially fire Kurt Rambis, who thanks Taylor, not Kahn

Timberwolves officially fire Kurt Rambis, who thanks Taylor, not Kahn

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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It's official this time.

After three months of uncertainty, the Minnesota Timberwolves have finally fired coach Kurt Rambis.

"I want to thank Kurt for his contributions to our franchise and wish him the best in his future endeavors," said president of basketball operations David Kahn in a release. "His arrival signaled we were serious about building a championship-contending ballclub over the course of time. We have accumulated a solid nucleus of young talent with a bright future during the last two years. I am hopeful Kurt receives his share of the credit for helping develop that talent and his contributions are not forgotten as we become a better basketball team.

"It is always hard to make these decisions. It is especially hard when it involves somebody of Kurt's reputation. Even so, this is the right time for us to make a head coaching change now that we've identified our roster and its specific needs."

Rambis released a statement to the Associated Press and did not mention Kahn's name.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has given me. During my years working with Coaches (Phil) Jackson, (Pat) Riley and (Lowell) Fitzsimmons, I learned all about the ups and downs of this sport. And today is one of the down days.

"But I'm confident that my work -- and the work of my staff -- with our many young players over the last two years will begin to pay off for Mr. Taylor and Timberwolves fans. Now, as important new players are added to the mix, the future of this franchise should be a bright one, and I am thankful for the chance I had, to play a part in shaping that future."

Rambis' job status had been up in the air since mid-April, with Kahn reportedly spending the last few weeks searching for replacements, including current Portland Trailblazers assistant Bernie Bickerstaff.

Last week, a report surfaced that Kahn had proposed that Rambis take a position in the Wolves' front office.

In two seasons with the Wolves, Rambis compiled a 32-132 record, and his teams only regressed in March and April.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Kurt Rambis
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