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Lowly Timberwolves Fire Lowe : Pro basketball: Coach ousted after 33-102 record in tenure marked by underachievers.

From Associated Press

Sidney Lowe’s 135-game run as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves was marked by pouting players, undisciplined underachievers and lopsided losses.

So he was fired Wednesday, along with assistants Jim Brewer and Chuck Davisson, as part of the sweeping changes planned by new owner Glen Taylor.

No replacements were named.

“It’s not frustrating as an owner, it’s frustrating as a fan,” said Taylor, who on Aug. 5 agreed to buy the Timberwolves from original owners Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner. “I think the fans’ expectations are the same as mine. This is a building process and people expect us to get better. We haven’t been getting better. We want to start.”

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He said there was no set timetable on naming Lowe’s successor but said sooner is better than later. The season starts in only 2 1/2 months.

“There isn’t a lot of time, but we have to take enough time to make sure we make the right decision,” Taylor said. “I realize the importance that this selection has for the long term.”

He said that General Manager Jack McCloskey, one of the few employees he has decided to keep from the Wolfenson-Ratner era, will compile a list of candidates. “Then I would get involved,” said Taylor, who added that McCloskey made the final decision to fire Lowe.

The firing of Lowe, the team’s third coach since joining the league as an expansion team in 1989, capped a wild year that included:

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--The franchise almost moving to New Orleans.

--A controversial public buyout of Target Center aimed at keeping the team in Minnesota.

--Bill Sexton’s long, unsuccessful negotiations to buy the team.

--Star player Christian Laettner’s squabbles with teammates and assistant coaches.

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--An assault charge against rookie Isaiah Rider.

And, of course, lots of losses.

Lowe, at 34 the NBA’s youngest coach, had a career record of 33-102 after replacing Jimmy Rodgers on Jan. 11, 1993.

“Whenever you’re fired, you can always say, ‘I wasn’t given a fair shot because of this or that,’ ” Lowe told WCCO-TV. “The fact of the matter is that I was given a shot. I was given a chance and that’s much more than I could have ever asked for.”

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Lowe had been with the organization since its inception. He was the starting point guard during the Timberwolves’ first season and was a television analyst the next year before joining Rodgers’ staff for the 1991-92 season.

McCloskey said Lowe, who has two years left on his contract, would “be reassigned in the basketball department as a scout.”


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