Minnesota Timberwolves assistant head coach Rick Brunson has resigned, the team announced this week.
Shortly after the announcement, multiple reports surfaced alleging that Brunson’s departure happened in the wake of an investigation into allegations of improper conduct toward women.
Timberwolves assistant Rick Brunson, who resigned today, was facing allegations of improper interactions with several women while on the job, @TheAthleticMIN has learned. The Athletic has reached out to the Wolves and Brunson for comment.
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) May 8, 2018
The most recent incident came during the playoffs, when a woman who does not work for the team lodged a complaint with the Timberwolves after Brunson made several unwanted advances toward her while at the arena for games against the Houston Rockets, sources told The Athletic.
The woman met with Timberwolves officials, who investigated the matter and ultimately determined that Brunson was not meeting the standards set by the franchise for its employees.
“Our entire organization — made up of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Minnesota Lynx and Iowa Wolves — is deeply committed to creating a safe work environment for our employees, partners and fans,” the Timberwolves said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon. “Our teams strive to have our actions reflect our values each and every day. We work to maintain high standards of conduct and expect our staff to lead by example. We did not believe Mr. Brunson’s conduct was consistent with those standards.”
The Athletic left a message with Brunson, whose attorney denied any wrongdoing by his client in a statement to the New York Daily News.
“Contrary to erroneous reports there have been no findings of any wrongdoing by Rick as any proper investigation by the Timberwolves would have shown,” Alan Milstein told the newspaper.
ESPN Sources: One of the women is a media member. https://t.co/HprdsjCAoR
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 8, 2018
Brunson was charged with sexual abuse in Illinois in 2014 after a woman told police that he grabbed her arm, pulled her shirt down and tried to force her to perform a sex act.
Brunson testified that the relationship with the woman, a masseuse at a fitness center, was consensual and that the alleged incident was part of an ongoing extramarital affair.
A judge acquitted Brunson, citing a lack of proof beyond a reasonable doubt for the allegations. Clearly Brunson likes the ladies a little too much.