Lowe Returning To Wolves Is Homecoming Of Sorts

Former Wolves player Sidney Lowe, who has also previously held commentating, assistant coaching and head coaching positions with the organization, is returning to Minnesota as an assistant under Flip Saunders.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Sometimes it’s funny how things can come full circle in the NBA. Sidney Lowe is a prime example of that.

Lowe is an East Coast native who played on the famed 1983 NC State Wolfpack team coached by Jim Valvano, and he was well-traveled in his professional playing career—including stops with five different NBA franchises and three more in the Continental Basketball Association. He’s been an assistant or head coach in the NBA or NCAA since 1991.

Yet there is one place that continues to be part of Lowe’s basketball career more than any other. As Lowe accepts a position as an assistant coach under Flip Saunders, he rejoins the Timberwolves for what amounts to be his seventh position involved with the organization.

Lowe was a player for the Wolves in 1989-90 under coach Bill Musselman in the team’s inaugural season. He became an assistant coach under Jimmy Rodgers from 1991-93, and he took over the Wolves as head coach in 1993-94. He took assistant coaching positions here in Minnesota under Flip Saunders in 1999-2000 and from 2003-05 and, before he joined the coaching ranks, he was a color commentator for the Wolves in 1990-91.

Through all these years, he’s felt like Minnesota is a place he can call home.

“To the Minnesota fans, I want to say thank you. Thank you very much for the support then, the support now,” Lowe said last season during an interview for Timberwolves.com’s series on the inaugural 1989-90 squad. “I spent eight years there total, and they were eight great years. And I’m just glad I was able to experience that there, and just thank you again. Thank you so much for everything that you’ve done for me. I really appreciate it.”

[Related Content: CLICK HERE to read the Timberwolves’ official press release on hiring Sidney Lowe]

Lowe spent just one season with the Timberwolves as a player, but it was a memorable one. He, along with the rest of his teammates, came together from different organizations and situations. Some were journeymen, others came into the NBA through Musselman’s ties to the CBA. They worked on perfecting each and every offensive set while trying to keep a tenacious mindset on defense, because they didn’t have the top-level talent or years of experience together to make a run at the postseason.

Through that mentality, Lowe and his teammates learned a lot about how to approach the game. Musselman preached discipline and was an equally strong motivator, and that stuck with his group. Lowe was one of six players and assistants during Musselman’s two years in Minnesota that would one day become an NBA head coach.

“[Musselman] taught me, just the importance of detail. Be perfect on every play,” Lowe said. “Be patient on it and making sure everybody did the right thing. And I think I still have some of that in me now, and as I coach today…just trying to find some of those fine detail things.”

Lowe hasn’t forgotten those early years of the franchise—which just celebrated its 25th season last year—and said he and his former teammates do reminisce about the fans’ support, playing in the Metrodome and other stories from those early days here in the Twin Cities.

Now, he’s got a chance to be part of the Timberwolves’ family again.

“The special part about [Minnesota] is the people, the fans here,” Lowe said last season. “Like I said, they were great then and they’re great now. … They don’t forget their players. They don’t forget the guys, the first team and guys that just played hard for them. They don’t forget that, and that’s a great feeling to know that you see a light there and they still see you as part of their extended family.”