Get To Know Head Coach Chris Finch
Regarded as one of the brightest offensive minds in the game, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ new Head Coach, Chris Finch, has over 24 years of coaching experience in professional basketball.
Following a four-year playing career with the British Basketball League’s Sheffield Sharks, Finch took over the team’s coaching reins from 1997-2003, winning a League title and earning Coach of the Year honors in the 1998-99 season.
For 12 years, Finch continued his coaching career overseas until 2009, when then NBA D-League franchise, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, hired the Pennsylvania native as Head Coach of the franchise.
In his first D-League season at the helm, Finch’s Vipers went 34-16, finishing first in their conference, earning the organization’s first playoff berth, and winning the D-League Championship. Following the Vipers’ successful 2010 campaign, the veteran coach received NBA D-League Coach of the Year honors.
Since 2011, the Timberwolves’ new shot-caller has been an elite-level assistant at the NBA level, playing a role in several of the Association’s best offensive systems, including tenures at the Houston Rockets from 2011-2016, Denver Nuggets in 2016-2017, New Orleans Pelicans between 2017-2020, and most recently, the Toronto Raptors.
“I started coaching early and I’ve done a lot through trial and error. I have beliefs that I’ve followed through on and tried different things along the way, so I’m not afraid to try new things and the older I’ve gotten, especially over the past five years, I’ve really been open to new ideas,” said Finch in a 2011 interview with Rockets.com.
An innovator throughout his career, the 51-year-old Finch has a knack for maximizing his players’ talent levels and is heralded as one of the key personnel that helped develop Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic into a focal point of the Nuggets’ offense. Following his brief stint in Denver, Finch played a pivotal role in revamping the New Orleans Pelicans’ offense around big man tandem Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
Offensive rating before and after the first season that Chris Finch arrived:
HOU - 16th to 4th
DEN - 17th to 4th
NOP - 26th to 12th
TOR - 13th to 10th
Obviously the credit can’t be completely given to Finch, but the pedigree is clearly there. Wolves currently rank 28th.
— Jake Paynting (@jakepaynting) February 22, 2021
Toronto’s Head Coach Nick Nurse spoke glowingly of the Wolves’ new hire, knowing Finch from the duo’s time as coaching competitors in the British Basketball League and D-League, and as colleagues with the Raptors and Great Britain’s National Team.
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) February 22, 2021
Now, with two All-Stars in Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell, a plethora of young talent, and a familiar system set in place by Wolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas, Minnesota’s new Head Coach is excited about the franchise’s potential.
“Every coach would be excited about this group of players,” said Finch in his introductory press conference. “Their skillsets seem to work so well together.”
Finch will begin his Timberwolves coaching career on Tuesday, when the team faces the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum at 7 p.m. Central Time. Game coverage will be available on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO Radio.