The Timberwolves' firing of Ryan Saunders and subsequent hiring of Chris Finch from Toronto's coaching staff midseason doesn't have a lot of precedent in the NBA.
So it's easy to see why players like Ricky Rubio would say they hadn't seen anything like it in their careers.
Rubio said despite the timing of the situation being "a little weird," the Wolves had to move on in a professional manner since the schedule doesn't let up as the Wolves lost to Milwaukee 139-112.
"We live in this business where we've got to do what we have to do — play professional," Rubio said. "At the end of the day, move on with everything going on. But, of course, we have attachments, we have emotions through everything that's going on, and it's hard to keep them out."
Rubio said he was going to miss Saunders, who he is close with dating back to his first tenure with the Wolves when Saunders was an assistant.
"He brought a good spirit every day, even when things weren't going our way," Rubio said. "And that's hard to find in this business."
The Bucks had little trouble against the Wolves in the second half and perhaps some of the emotion of the last few days crept in and affected the Wolves on the court. That, and they are still trying to get to know a coach from a different team with whom they have little familiarity.
"Don't know him much, but for the two days that we've been together, really good offensive mind, fast-paced, a lot of threes and it takes time," Rubio said of Finch.
One of the few players on the Wolves roster who has played for Finch previously is Malik Beasley, who had 26 on Tuesday. Finch was an assistant in Denver during Beasley's rookie season.
"He was a great guy," Beasley said. "He's laid back and just wants the job to be done. That's how it should be. At the end of the day we have to go out and perform. He's been that way since Denver. He changed the program around there and we're going to do some big things."
Beasley said he will be appreciative of Saunders and how he helped Beasley on and off the court. When asked how the last 48 hours have been, Beasley said this has just been a continuation of a year-long process in which the Wolves have put up with a lot as a team.
"Since that first trade," Beasley said, referring to when he came to Minnesota last February. "Trying to figure out how to play with each other, dealing with COVID, dealing with things and it's been tough. But at the same time, we've been able to stay together. The process has been getting easier. We trust each other."
Kat and Giannis' friendship
When Karl-Anthony Towns was going through family tragedies related to COVID, including the death of his mother Jacqueline, over the last year, he found a new friend in someone who knows what it's like to lose a parent and still have to play in the NBA — Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo's father died in 2017 and said he reached out to Towns to see how he was doing.
The two shared a moment after the game.
"I kind of know how much he hurts," Antetokounmpo said. "I know how hard it is to lose someone you love and then you gotta go and still do your job. It's extremely hard. I told him I love him, stay healthy and I'll see you soon."
Towns said he was grateful for Antetokounmpo's friendship.
"I don't think he gets enough publicly how much of a man he is, but I'll say it for him, even though I know he won't," Towns said. "I appreciate him and the way he's reached out to me during my time. We really built a friendship there. I'm really appreciative of him and the amount of care he's put into me and my family."