Is there a leader in this pack?

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 9, 2011 - 10:36 PM
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The well-traveled Larry Brown will meet with Timberwolves brass on Wednesday, joining a long list of candidates for the team's coaching job.

Photo: Lynne Sladky, Associated Press

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The Timberwolves will have interviewed 6 1/2 candidates (see Rick Adelman below) by the time Larry Brown is the last into town to meet with President David Kahn, owner Glen Taylor and others Wednesday. Here's a look at the field being considered to replace the fired Kurt Rambis:

TERRY PORTER

Career record

99-116

(three seasons; MIL, PHX)

Selling points: Knows owner Glen Taylor from Wolves playing days. Inexpensive hire. Led Bucks to .500 record and playoffs in rookie season.

Cause for concern: Fired twice in short coaching career. Dismissed by Suns for slowing their frantic offense and maybe even emphasizing defense too much.

His chances? Nice guy with ties to Minnesota and Wisconsin, but probably the longest of long shots.

MIKE WOODSON

Career record

206-286

(six seasons; ATL)

Selling points: Made a young team filled with lottery-pick talent better every year with Hawks, from 13 victories in his first season to 53 in his last.

Cause for concern: Defensive-minded coach who played for Bob Knight and coached under Larry Brown might not have fast-break ball in his DNA.

His chances? Solid, safe pick but probably not a favorite.

BERNIE BICKERSTAFF

Career record

415-517

(13 seasons; SEA, DEN, WASH, CHAR)

Selling points: Has done it all -- coach, GM, prez -- in 25-plus year NBA career that began before most Wolves players were born.

Cause for concern: Hasn't been a head coach since 2007. At age 67, does he still have the fire to be one?

His chances? They'd be better if son J.B. hadn't left team to join Kevin McHale in Houston.

DON NELSON

Career record

1335-1063

(31 seasons; MIL, GS, NY, DAL

Selling points: Nobody has won more games in NBA history or is better suited to playing fast, which is just what David Kahn wants.

Cause for concern: At 71, is this hoops "lifer" seeking one final job for one last big paycheck? Anthony Randolph isn't his biggest fan, either.

His chances? Big short-term upside but long-term risk.

SAM MITCHELL

Career record

156-189

(four-plus seasons; TOR)

Selling points: Former Wolves player and fan favorite, he knows Glen Taylor well and got more out of a young Raptors team than coaches before or since him.

Cause for concern: Not the natural uptempo coach Kahn said he wants for this team and apparently nowhere to be found on Kahn's original list of candidates.

His chances? Is THE favorite if Taylor decides he will make this important hire himself.

LARRY BROWN

Career record

1098-904

(27 seasons: DEN, NJ, SAN, LAC, PHI, DET, NY, CHAR)

Selling points: A proven NBA winner who, like Nelson, makes bad teams better. He and Kahn have known each other since their UCLA days in the late 1970s.

Cause for concern: The sport's most infamous nomad, he's tough on young players, particularly point guards.

His chances? Big risk, big reward, but even his mentee probably won't hire him anymore.

RICK ADELMAN

Career record

945-616

(20 seasons with POR, GS, SAC, HOU)

Selling points: Highest winning percentage of the group. Will play fast. Knows Kevin Love well.

Cause for concern: Says he doesn't want to get back into the coaching grind at age 65 after he and the Rockets agreed to part ways in the spring.

His chances? He'd address most of the Wolves' issues but says he isn't interested.

Note: Adelman discussed job by telephone but hasn't interviewed in person.

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