MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minnesota Timberwolves Assistant Coach Rick Brunson has resigned amid reports of alleged misconduct with women.
Brunson is accused of "improper interactions with several women while on the job," according to The Athletic. One of the women allegedly involved works in the media, according to an ESPN reporter.
The Timberwolves accepted Brunson's resignation on Tuesday, which was effective immediately, according to a team statement.
In a statement, the team in part said, "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."
"I've covered this team for 14 years and I can safely say I've never been privy to anything even remotely close to the allegations in this case,” said Jon Krawzcynski, the senior writer at The Athletic.
Krawzcynski broke the story about Brunson's resignation. He says the move came after a woman in Houston who doesn't work for the Timberwolves complained about unwanted advances from Brunson during the team's recent playoff run there.
"She was in an arena for the games against the Rockets was in an area where Mr. Brunson could come across her,” said Krawzcynski. “On a couple of occasions, the way he approached her and some of the interactions he had with her made her feel uncomfortable."
But Krawczyski says that wasn't the first time the Timberwolves had investigated Brunson's behavior towards women. He says in March, team officials reached out to several women outside the organization to ask about their interactions with Brunson over the last two years.
"Several of the women shared with team officials behavior they believed to be unprofessional and out of the ordinary,” said Krawczyski. “They also told Timberwolves officials it did not rise to the level of making them feel uncomfortable enough to file a formal complaint."
Three years ago, Brunson was charged with sexually assaulting a massage therapist in Illinois, but he denied the allegations and he was eventually acquitted of all criminal charges.
Before coaching, Brunson played 12 seasons in the NBA, playing for seven different teams from the late '90s to the mid '00s.