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

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
UNLV 67 FINAL
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
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: Which local team is currently the biggest disappointment?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close