The Minnesota Timberwolves turned heads Wednesday when they announced they had parted ways with president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.
According to Mike Max of WCCO, the decision was made because Rosas allegedly created a toxic workplace culture and had an “inappropriate relationship” within the organization.
“People inside the organization have been put off by him at times, and the latest issue to surface was seemingly the final straw,” Max wrote. “One other employee of the team also left abruptly Wednesday.”
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported that Sachin Gupta was promoted from vice president to replace Rosas on an interim basis.
There were some within the organization, including players, who were reportedly surprised by the decision to move on from Rosas:
Chris Hine of the Star Tribune reported additional details about the culture inside the Timberwolves organization, noting “throughout the past few months there has been growing discord and strained relationships among Rosas, the front office and the rest of the organization.”
The team reportedly decided to move on in an effort to prevent the tension from carrying over into the season.
“Other parts of the organization got a sense for how the culture on the basketball side was deteriorating at summer league in Las Vegas last month, and that continued over the past few weeks,” Hine wrote. “Rosas’ attitude toward staff and ways of conducting business contributed to a morose atmosphere around the organization.”
Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic provided further details, noting “a vocal contingent of staffers express concern about the way Rosas conducted his business.”
The report from Krawczynski and Charania cited team executives and agents who took issue with how he conducted negotiations and staff members who highlighted long hours without the ability to give much input into personnel decisions. Rosas’ tenure was described by some as “dysfunctional.”
There was also reportedly tension between Rosas and Gupta, with the former blocking the latter from making a move to the Houston Rockets. Rosas reportedly even banished Gupta from the team’s offices in August and gave him leave to find another job before ownership got involved.
Rosas denied to The Athletic that there were any cultural problems.
Gupta and whoever takes over the role in a permanent position will have their work cut out for them as they look to improve the overall culture and product on the court. Minnesota has made the playoffs just once since the 2003-04 campaign and was 23-49 last season after going 19-45 in 2019-20.
The Timberwolves kick off their 2021-22 campaign on Oct. 20 against the Rockets.