Tale of the tape: Adelman vs. McHale

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND
  • Star Tribune
  • September 28, 2011 - 12:34 PM

If the NBA season ever starts, you will notice a strange paradox: Rick Adelman and Kevin McHale have, for all intents and purposes, swapped jobs. McHale last worked in the NBA as an executive and interim head coach with the Timberwolves. Adelman's last job was as Rockets head coach. Now Adelman - who will be officially introduced as the Wolves' new coach Wednesday - and McHale are coaching the other's former team.

Who got the better end of the deal? Well, we put together a little tale of the tape to help you sort it out ... or at least help you distinguish between the two:

Playing record: McHale - 17,335 career points, elected to Hall of Fame in 1999; Adelman - 3,579 career points, including career-high 12.6 ppg for Portland in 1970-71.

Coaching record: McHale - 39-55 in two separate interim stints with the Timberwolves after seasons went horribly south (2004-05 and 2008-09). Adelman - 945-616 with four different NBA teams, including 16 combined playoff appearances in 20 seasons.

Head-to-head as coaches (five meetings): McHale's victory - Wolves 112, Kings 100, April of 2005. Adelman's victories - A four-game season sweep with the Rockets (all after McHale took over) in 2009.

Signature moment with the other team as head coach: McHale - 10-2 stretch with the otherwise woeful Wolves in January, 2009. Adelman - A 22-game winning streak during the 2007-08 season.

Maybe don't mention to his face: McHale - Joe Smith. Adelman -- 2002 Western Conference finals

You might have forgotten: McHale - Was hilarious as a special guest star on Cheers episodes two decades ago; Adelman - Spent two years as the head coach at Golden State between his Portland and Sacramento jobs.

His new gig: McHale -- Takes over a team that was 58 games over .500 and made the playoffs twice during Adelman's four years as head coach; Adelman -- Takes over a team that has won exactly 32 games in two seasons since McHale departed as both interim coach and basketball boss (Adelman).

You might see him on the sidelines: McHale - walking with a limp/lurch. Adelman - Standing with his arms folded.

Key quote: McHale - at his introductory press conference in Houston in June: "I wanted to try to start fresh, without a bunch of water in the submarine, going the wrong direction." Adelman, on Kevin Love in December of 2008: "I think he's going to be a solid pro. I knew he'd be a good rebounder. He has some skills offensively. Those will come to the forefront eventually."

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