Adelman: Ideal fit for a team in a pickle?

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 23, 2011 - 1:46 AM

The owner of a 945-616 record knows David Kahn, is a fan of Kevin Love, and runs a system fueled by talent and "big guys."


Rick Adelman

Photo: Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

If there's such a thing as a dream candidate in this Timberwolves' coaching search, Rick Adelman might be it.

The guy owns a .605 winning percentage -- that's a career 945-616 record, if you're keeping score at home -- in 20 seasons with Portland, Golden State, Sacramento and Houston.

As per David Kahn, his teams have been known to play fast. (See his Kings teams featuring Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic.)

He also has known Kahn for more than 20 years and has watched Kevin Love develop from prep star to NBA rebounding king.

And now he is the fourth known candidate in the team's search to replace fired Kurt Rambis.

Adelman -- whose interest in the job was previously unknown -- is scheduled to follow Terry Porter, Mike Woodson and Bernie Bickerstaff into meetings with Kahn and team owner Glen Taylor by interviewing Saturday, according to league sources with knowledge of the team's search.

Don Nelson, the NBA's leader in career coaching victories with 1,335, has been in town most of the week visiting his daughter, a schoolteacher, and his grandchildren in Minnetonka and is set to interview Sunday.

Adelman believes in many of the same offensive principles -- a passing offense that emphasizes ball movement -- that Rambis does. But he took two of his Trail Blazers teams to the NBA Finals two decades ago and has had only two losing seasons in his 20.

Both of those losing seasons came with Golden State, from 1995 to 1997.

"I had three experiences," Adelman told the Associated Press late last season, referring to his jobs before he went to Houston. "At two, I had a lot of talent and at one, I didn't. I won at two places and didn't win at the other. I figured it out that talent is pretty important, especially if you have a unique blend of a big guy who's one of the best in the league and a perimeter player who's one of the best in the league."

He chose the Houston job in 2007 after talking with two or three other teams and accepted a four-year, $16.25 million contract because the Rockets had big Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. Both became injury-prone players who were either gone or sidelined by the time team and coach decided to part ways when Adelman's contract expired after last season.

In Minnesota, he would inherit a team filled with high lottery picks -- Derrick Williams, Michael Beasley and Darko Milicic at No. 2; No. 4 Wes Johnson; Love and Rubio at No. 5, and No. 6 Martell Webster -- but one that lost its final 15 games last season and finished with a league-worst 17 victories.

"I don't think I've lost the desire to coach," Adelman said. "I think I still can do it."

Most league observers believe Adelman, at age 65, will only return to coaching if he can do so with a veteran contending team. But with Mike Brown just hired to coach the Lakers and Rick Carlisle, Doc Rivers, Tom Thibodeau, Gregg Popovich, Stan Van Gundy and others firmly planted at other such contenders, he might have to wait one or two years -- or more -- for an opening.

Adelman will probably command a contract of at least $4 million, twice the four-year, $8 million deal Rambis signed in August 2009, if the sides decide it's the right fit.

Kahn was ending a newspaper career as an NBA reporter and columnist at the Oregonian newspaper just when Adelman was hired by the Blazers as a head coach for the first time in 1989. They still own houses in the same Portland neighborhood.

More importantly, Adelman and Love have known each other for years and appear to constitute a mutual admiration society. Adelman's son and Love played together on the same Lake Oswego, Ore., team and Adelman saw nearly every game Love played in his senior season while the coach was in between jobs in Sacramento and Houston.

Love and Milicic are the kind of passing big men who'd presumably thrive in Adelman's system.

His arrival could also help persuade Love to sign a multiyear contract extension.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Brooklyn 109 FINAL
Boston 107
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Orlando 89
Indiana 99 4th Qtr 5:12
Detroit 111
Milwaukee 98 4th Qtr 4:9
Atlanta 68
Houston 64 3rd Qtr 6:15
Memphis 70
San Antonio 62 3rd Qtr 3:12
New Orleans 63
Charlotte 45 3rd Qtr 8:21
Oklahoma City 59
LA Lakers 42 2nd Qtr 0:30
Dallas 48
Minnesota 27 2nd Qtr
Denver 26
Philadelphia 9:00 PM
Phoenix 9:00 PM
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 17 2nd Qtr 0:53
UCF 10
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(15) Arizona State 12/27/14 1:10 PM
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question