Proven winner takes challenge

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 13, 2011 - 9:39 AM

The Timberwolves confirmed Tuesday morning they have hired Rick Adelman as their coach.

hide

Rick Adelman

Photo: Pat Sullivan, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Timberwolves accomplished two things Monday you might never have imagined possible:

With one patient, well-executed move by owner Glen Taylor and basketball president David Kahn, they convinced Rick Adelman to be their next coach and they got Kevin Love to talk more optimistically about his future in Minnesota.

The Timberolves confirmed Tuesday morning that they have hired Adelman.

He agreed to replace the fired Kurt Rambis, more than two months after Adelman likely was first approached about the job. He will lead a team that is thick with young talent but has won a total of 32 games over the past two seasons.

Terms of the deal were not immediately known, but Adelman was believed to have sought a five-year contract worth at least $25 million.

He will be introduced at a Target Center news conference later this week -- where he won't be allowed to discuss the team's players because of the lockout -- after contract details are finalized and the agreement is signed.

An experienced, proven winner in 20 seasons as a NBA head coach, Adelman's .605 career winning percentage is by far the best of the six other candidates interviewed for the job.

He also, perhaps not coincidentally, has a relationship with Love that dates to his junior-high school days in suburban Portland, Ore.

Until Monday, Love promised he was an impartial observer in his team's coaching search, even though he has been to Adelman's home many times and still calls the household's matriarch "Mrs. Adelman."

By Monday afternoon, however, Love admitted he did secretly have a horse in this race and answered "absolutely" when asked if Adelman's presence will impact his decision about signing a contract extension with the Wolves.

Whenever Love was asked last season about his future with the team, he said he would wait and see how the franchise's rebuilding work progressed.

"I always said one of the things we'd have to have is a great coach," said Love, who under the NBA's old labor rules could be a restricted free agent next summer. "Now, we've got a great coach."

Endorsed by Rockets players

After last season, Houston chose not to renew the four-year, $16.25 million contract Adelman signed in 2007, when he accepted the Rockets' job from among other offers because he envisioned a future with the team's inside-outside combination of Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady.

At the time, he said he still wanted to coach and still believed he could coach. He also noted that three times in his career -- jobs with Portland, Sacramento and Houston -- he inherited a team with talent and succeeded and once took over a Golden State team with little talent and failed.

"I figured it out that talent is pretty important," Adelman told reporters in April.

That fact led many league observers to doubt whether the Wolves had any chance to sign a future Hall of Fame coach who now has reached retirement age and whose family has continued to live in Portland while he coaches elsewhere.

Players Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry lamented Adelman's departure when the Rockets decided to part ways with him. Martin at the time said, "I think we lost one of the greatest coaches of all time." Lowry called Adelman a "great motivator" and "great player's coach" who is "one of the best coaches I've ever had."

Player's coach, but not chummy

Adelman also is known as a coach who emphasizes offense without completely ignoring defense, which was the Wolves' glaring weakness in last year's 17-victory season.

Lowry is playing pickup ball this summer in Houston with Wolves forward Anthony Tolliver.

"It's funny, but Kyle made a comment to me the other day," Tolliver said Monday evening from Houston. "He said, 'If Adelman gets that coaching job, I'd ask for a trade.' I thought he was telling me I should ask for one. Then he said, 'No, no, I love him. I would ask for a trade to go play for him.' I went, 'OK. ... that's good then.' "

Oddly, Adelman is known as a player's coach who, according to one Rockets observer, rarely seems to interact with his players off the court.

"Kyle and other guys who have played for him say he's not someone who's the most personable, happy-go-lucky guy," Tolliver said. "But they say he knows how to coach and he teaches you how to win. That's all I care about. You don't have to be best friends with your coach. I just want him to help us win. I think it'll be a good combination of his veteran leadership with our youthful team that's happy-go-lucky.

"From the beginning, I never wanted a young coach for us, a young team. I wanted a veteran guy who knows how to win."

Love admitted he's "very excited" to play in Adelman's "corner" offense that runs best with a multidimensional big man.

Love said he envisions himself being used much as Adelman employed Chris Webber, Vlade Divac and Brad Miller -- big men who could pass, shoot and handle the ball away from the basket -- during his seasons with Sacramento.

Adelman watched nearly every game Love played his senior season at Lake Oswego, Ore., because Adelman's son, Patrick, played on the team.

"We've always had a good relationship," Love said. "Looking back to high school, I always asked myself, 'What does Rick think I need to improve?' I kept asking him for advice whenever I had the chance to talk to him. I always thought it'd be very interesting and intriguing to play under such a well-respected coach who I know well, who has been there and done that.

"He adds credibility to our team. I think he's intrigued by how far he might be able to take a team that is really young but has got a lot of talent. I want to see that, too."

  • related content

  • Souhan: Brilliant hire, if Wolves don't mess it up

    Tuesday September 13, 2011

    The Timberwolves, faced with one of the most important decisions in franchise history at one of the most crucial junctures in franchise history, hired the best head coaching candidate on...

  • About Rick Adelman

    Monday September 12, 2011

    New Wolves coach Rick Adelman is among the winningest coaches in NBA history:

  • The Adelman file

    Monday September 12, 2011

    THE ADELMAN FILEAge: 65 (born June 16, 1946 in Lynwood, Calif.)College: Loyola of Los Angeles (now Loyola Marymount)Pro career: A...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Golden State 6:00 PM
Orlando
Brooklyn 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Portland 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Washington 6:00 PM
Cleveland
LA Clippers 6:30 PM
Detroit
New York 6:30 PM
Dallas
Toronto 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Sacramento 7:00 PM
Houston
Utah 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Indiana 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Denver 8:00 PM
Phoenix
Memphis 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
NY Rangers 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 6:30 PM
Florida
Toronto 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Los Angeles 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Calgary 9:30 PM
San Jose
Robert Morris 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 61
Rochester College 35 FINAL
Eastern Mich 68
Marist 68 FINAL
Fresno State 64
Butler 74 FINAL
North Carolina 66
Liberty 50 FINAL
Morgan State 51
Denver 57 FINAL
Belmont 78
American Univ 64 FINAL
Hampton 60
Sacred Heart 72 FINAL
James Madison 79
Northeastern 54 FINAL
Massachusetts 79
Samford 71 FINAL
Kennesaw St 84
ULM 48 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 61
Hawaii 75 FINAL
East Carolina 73
Missouri 74 FINAL
Chaminade 60
UCLA 65 FINAL
Oklahoma 75
North Florida 72 FINAL
Elon 65
Oral Roberts 69 FINAL
Milwaukee 66
Chicago State 54 2nd Half 2:54
Western Carolina 61
Purdue 43 2nd Half 18:57
BYU 37
Furman 32 2nd Half 12:22
Duke 67
San Francisco 14 1st Half 11:44
Evansville 19
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
UAB
Davidson 6:00 PM
UCF
Albany 6:00 PM
Colgate
Canisius 6:00 PM
Cornell
Longwood 6:00 PM
George Washington
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Iona
Trinity Baptist 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Louisville
St Johns 6:00 PM
Minnesota
PSU-Harrisburg 6:00 PM
Navy
Richmond 6:00 PM
NC State
Grambling St 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
Georgia State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Campbell 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Goucher 6:00 PM
Towson
Bryant 6:00 PM
Vermont
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Yale
UMKC 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Kansas State 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Va Military 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Lehigh 7:00 PM
DePaul
UC Riverside 7:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Marshall
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
North Texas
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
South Carolina
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Texas Southern 7:00 PM
SMU
Radford 7:00 PM
TCU
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
Utah
Wayne St-NE 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northern Ill 7:30 PM
Iowa
Fla Gulf Coast 7:30 PM
Green Bay
Carroll (MT) 8:00 PM
Montana
Florida A&M 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Auburn 8:00 PM
Oregon State
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Stetson 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Northern Ky 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Utah Valley U 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Florida 8:30 PM
Georgetown
Georgia 8:30 PM
Gonzaga
Northwestern 8:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
California
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Utah State 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Alabama State 9:30 PM
North Dakota
Portland State 10:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Tulsa 10:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Pacific 10:30 PM
Alaska-Anchorage
Missouri State 11/27/14 1:00 AM
Colorado State
Ohio U 24 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 21
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Kennesaw St 74 FINAL
Seton Hall 77
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 55
Illinois-Chicago 40 FINAL
Northwestern 61
UT Martin 75 FINAL
Samford 79
Niagara 63 FINAL
Binghamton 52
Radford 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 72
East Tenn St 69 FINAL
Indiana 97
North Dakota 72 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 52
Marshall 36 2nd Half 9:32
Cornell 42
LSU 5:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Oral Roberts 4 1st Half 16:16
Ark-Little Rock 9
Boise State 5:30 PM
Yale
Evansville 6:00 PM
(22) West Virginia
(4) Tennessee 6:00 PM
Chattanooga
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Bradley 6:00 PM
Columbia
Providence 6:00 PM
Dayton
Presbyterian 6:00 PM
Xavier
Albany 6:00 PM
Canisius
VA Commonwealth 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Alabama
Colgate 6:00 PM
(22) Georgia
Memphis 6:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oakland 6:30 PM
(16) Michigan State
Utah Valley U 6:45 PM
UC Davis
Butler 7:00 PM
BYU
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
(6) Texas
McNeese State 7:00 PM
(7) Texas A&M
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Marquette
Northern Ariz 7:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Jackson State 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Indiana State 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Kansas State 7:30 PM
Santa Clara
Long Beach St 8:00 PM
Alaska-Anchorage
Iona 8:00 PM
Kansas
Fresno Pacific 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close