NBA Sunday Insider: Adelman a fan of Utah's Sloan

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 25, 2014 - 5:36 PM
hide

Wolves coach Rick Adelman taped a testimonial for former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, above, that will be played Friday at Utah’s game, during which Sloan will be honored.

Photo: Associated Press file,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

It sometimes takes some doing to get Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman engaged and open in a conversation, but mention former teammate and coaching rival Jerry Sloan and you can almost see the curtain come down.

The two men played together one season in Chicago long ago and coached against each other for most of 22 years. The Jazz hired Sloan to replace Frank Layden in December 1988, and Portland promoted Adelman to head coach two months later until Sloan up and quit in February 2011.

Adelman coached four different teams during that time while Sloan was pro sports’ longest-tenured coach for the last decade of his 23 seasons as Utah’s coach.

Earlier this month, Adelman taped a personal five-minute testimonial about his friend and competitor, calling Sloan the opposing coach he always respected most because his teams always were tough-minded and difficult to play.

Parts of that testimonial will be played during a ceremony at Friday night’s Utah Jazz game during which Sloan will be honored. A banner bearing his name will be raised into the EnergySolutions Arena rafters alongside retired jerseys belonging to John Stockton, Karl Malone, Pete Maravich and other Jazz greats.

“It’s amazing to me that hasn’t been done yet,” Adelman said. “But I’m glad it is being done. It needs to be up there. Anybody in this professional-sports world who was in the same place that many years deserves to have a lot of jerseys up there.”

Adelman learned all about the toughness that later embodied Sloan’s teams when he played alongside the Bulls’ driven veteran guard during the 1973-74 season.

“The thing about Jerry, you hated him when you played against him, and you just loved him when he was on your side,” Adelman said. “When I got traded there, I wasn’t much of a player or anything. He brought me in, took me out to get furniture before my wife got there. He just kind of reached out. He’s a special, special person.”

The Bulls played rival Detroit in a first-round playoff series that season. During the first quarter of Game 6 in Detroit, Sloan broke his foot, received an injection and played the rest of the game.

“He knew he wasn’t going to play a seventh game,” Adelman said. “They said he couldn’t hurt it anymore, so he played that whole sixth game.”

The Pistons forced Game 7 by winning that night. Two nights later, the Bulls won Game 7 and to this day Adelman credits a guy who didn’t play for a 96-94 victory.

“We won that seventh game for one reason,” Adelman said. “When Jerry came up the stairs at old Chicago Stadium on crutches, the place just went nuts and our whole team went up another level and we ended up winning. I believe that was all because of the reaction to him coming up the stairs.”

Sloan is third among the NBA’s all-time winningest coaches, with 1,221 career victories that place him behind only Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson. All but 94 of those victories came with the Jazz.

“He really imposed himself onto his teams, and he had the people who would follow,” Adelman said.

“I’m happy for him. He’s in the Hall of Fame and certainly he should be up there, too.”

The Jazz hasn’t honored Sloan until now because he didn’t want the team to make a fuss about him.

“That figures,” Adelman said. “That sounds like Jerry.”

NBA Short Takes

My forward’s better than yours …

On the night Timberwolves star Kevin Love was voted an All-Star starter for the first time, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge went out and renewed the conversation concerning who’s the best power forward in the game with a 44-point, 13-rebound game in a comeback home victory over Denver.

“What can you say? He’s an MVP candidate. Best power forward in the game,” teammate Wes Matthews told reporters afterward. “I’ve been saying that for two years now.”

The debate continued Saturday night, when the two players met again in Portland.

Chuck says

Fans worldwide voted Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant an All-Star starter even though he has played just six games this season.

Whether he returns in time to play a couple of obligatory minutes in New Orleans remains to be seen. But, believe it or not, TNT analyst Charles Barkley has an opinion about whether Bryant should try to play again this season.

“It’s not going to matter,” Barkley said about the Lakers. “They are going to stink with him or without him, it really doesn’t make a difference. They are not a good team, they are not going to be a good team. If he is thinking about the future and he wants to win another championship, they should try to get a great draft pick. He should get healthy for the rest of the season. I think he will make a big mistake coming back.”

Sizing up U.S. team

USA Basketball on Thursday announced 28 players eligible for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics and men’s national teams. A squad that was limited to playing Love and Tyson Chandler at center during the 2012 London Olympics suddenly looks deep at that position.

Dwight Howard is on the list after missing London because of injury. Chandler and youngster Anthony Davis are back as well. And 14 newcomers on the list include big men LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Drummond.

“We have more guys there than we’ve had before,” USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Wolves' week ahead

Monday: 7 p.m. at Chicago (FSN/NBA TV)

Wednesday: 7 p.m. vs. New Orleans (FSN)

Friday: 7 p.m. vs. Memphis (FSN)

Saturday: 6:30 p.m. at Atlanta (FSN)

Player to watch:

Anthony Davis, Pelicans

He might not have established enough cred yet for a reserve’s spot, but catch a bona fide All-Star of the future with this fleet, shot-blocking savant who already leads the league in that category in his second NBA season.

Voices

“I would love to bring Pek with me, and if he doesn’t make the game maybe he can be my bodyguard down there.”

West All-Star starter Kevin Love when asked if he might play with teammate Nikola Pekovic while in New Orleans next month, too.
 

  • related content

  • NBA Short Takes

    Saturday January 25, 2014

    My forward’s better than yours …On the night Timberwolves star Kevin Love was voted an All-Star starter for the first...

  • Wolves this week

    Saturday January 25, 2014

    the wolves this weekMonday: 7 p.m. at Chicago (FSN/NBA TV)Wednesday: 7 p.m. vs. New Orleans (FSN)Friday: 7 p.m. vs. Memphis...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 12:05 PM
Detroit
Philadelphia 12:05 PM
Houston
St. Louis 12:05 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12:05 PM
Tampa Bay
NY Yankees 12:05 PM
Pittsburgh
Chicago Cubs 2:05 PM
San Francisco
Los Angeles 2:05 PM
Chicago WSox
San Diego 2:05 PM
Seattle
Cleveland 2:05 PM
Cincinnati
Milwaukee 2:05 PM
LA Angels
Oakland 2:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Texas 2:05 PM
Kansas City
Colorado 2:10 PM
Arizona
NY Mets 4:05 PM
Washington
Boston 6:05 PM
Minnesota
Toronto 6:05 PM
Baltimore
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Chicago
Dallas 9:30 PM
Portland
Calgary 6:00 PM
Boston
St. Louis 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Dallas 6:30 PM
Florida
NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Nashville
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 3:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Niagara 4:00 PM
Siena
Holy Cross 6:00 PM
Bucknell
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Navy 6:00 PM
Colgate
Temple 6:00 PM
East Carolina
UAB 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Lafayette
American Univ 6:00 PM
Lehigh
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Saint Peters
Arkansas 6:00 PM
South Carolina
Morehead State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
North Florida
Southern Ill 6:05 PM
Missouri State
Texas State 6:30 PM
Appalachian St
SC State 6:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 6:30 PM
Coppin State
Middle Tennessee 6:30 PM
FIU
Texas-Arlington 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 6:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Georgia State 7:00 PM
ULM
Marshall 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Rice 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Grambling St
Alabama A&M 7:30 PM
Jackson State
Sam Houston St 7:30 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 7:30 PM
Nicholls
Portland State 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Southern U 7:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Houston Baptist 7:30 PM
TX A&M-CC
SE Louisiana 7:45 PM
New Orleans
California 8:00 PM
Arizona
Eastern Ill 8:00 PM
Belmont
Memphis 8:00 PM
Connecticut
VA Commonwealth 8:00 PM
Davidson
Ark-Pine Bluff 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Marist 8:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northwestern St 8:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
North Texas 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 8:00 PM
Washington
Idaho 8:00 PM
Weber State
Abilene Christian 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Bradley 8:35 PM
Drake
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 23 2nd Half
Canisius 24
Wake Forest 10:00 AM
(22) Syracuse
Saint Louis 10:30 AM
VA Commonwealth
Saint Peters 10:30 AM
Rider
UNC-Asheville 11:00 AM
Liberty
UNC Greensboro 11:00 AM
(17) Chattanooga
Michigan State 11:30 AM
Michigan
Arkansas 12:00 PM
Ole Miss
Manhattan 12:30 PM
Niagara
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Richmond
Virginia 1:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Campbell 1:00 PM
Winthrop
Jacksonville St 1:00 PM
Belmont
Morgan State 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Furman 1:15 PM
Samford
Oregon 1:30 PM
Washington St
Indiana 1:55 PM
(23) Rutgers
Pepperdine 2:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Auburn 2:25 PM
(18) Texas A&M
Morehead St 3:00 PM
Tennessee St
George Mason 3:30 PM
Saint Josephs
Western Carolina 3:30 PM
East Tenn St
Arizona 4:00 PM
UCLA
Texas State 4:00 PM
Appalachian St
TX-Arlington 4:00 PM
Georgia Southern
SC State 4:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 4:30 PM
Coppin State
Portland 4:30 PM
Santa Clara
Norfolk State 4:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 4:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 5:00 PM
Florida A&M
Virginia Tech 5:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Central Arkansas 5:00 PM
Nicholls
Houston Baptist 5:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Radford
Georgia 5:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 5:00 PM
Marshall
Ark-Little Rock 5:00 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 5:15 PM
ULM
Sam Houston St 5:30 PM
Lamar
SE Louisiana 5:30 PM
New Orleans
Northwestern St 5:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Alabama A&M 5:30 PM
Jackson State
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Grambling
Ark-Pine Bluff 5:30 PM
Miss Valley St
Southern U 5:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Wofford 5:45 PM
Mercer
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Incarnate Word
La Salle 6:00 PM
Rhode Island
Illinois 6:00 PM
Nebraska
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Rice
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
Oakland
Missouri State 6:05 PM
Indiana State
Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Presbyterian 7:00 PM
High Point
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
UAB
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
North Texas
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Bradley 7:05 PM
Drake
Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
(12) Kentucky
Colorado 8:00 PM
USC
San Francisco 8:00 PM
Pacific
FIU 8:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
Weber State 8:00 PM
Idaho
Purdue 8:25 PM
Minnesota
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
Washington
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
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: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close