Rick Adelman Rumors

Kevin Love is the 6-foot-10, 243-pound elephant in any room where the next Timberwolves coach is being discussed. Coaching the Wolves is a “terrific opportunity,” former NBA coach Mike Fratello said this week, “but so much hinges on what Kevin is going to do.” A coaching search coinciding with the uncertain future of the franchise’s best player is the kind of bad timing that Rick Adelman said he was trying to help the Wolves avoid by stepping down as coach five weeks ago.
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Adelman’s contract has a mutual option included for the final season, meaning either side can opt out of the deal. Adelman will turn 68 in June and the contract calls for a decision to be made no later than two weeks after the season ends. Adelman and Wolves president Flip Saunders have said they will sit down to discuss things after the season is over. Adelman did help bring a team that had won just 17 games the season before he took over back to respectability. A win in the finale on Wednesday night against Utah would mean the Wolves (40-41) would finish with a non-losing record for the first time since 2004-05.
“When you think of Rick Adelman, you think of ‘corners,’ ” Kings coach Michael Malone said the other day. “Honestly, it’s something we’ve talked about implementing next year because of DeMarcus’ (Cousins) ability to pass and face up.” But back to being fragile. For all Adelman’s success, his career to some extent has been decimated by player injuries. Webber’s knee in Sacramento. Tracy McGrady’s knee and Yao Ming’s feet in Houston. Ricky Rubio’s knee and assorted ailments suffered by Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic in Minnesota; the T-wolves will have missed the postseason in each of Adelman’s three seasons coaching the team.
“Rick didn’t win the ’ship (championship),” continued Christie, “and as badly as I feel for the Sacramento fans, I wanted to win it for him, too. He was my favorite coach. He identifies what a player can do and brings out the best in him. I definitely don’t think he gets enough respect as an elite coach.” His bio in the NBA record book reads in part like a Hall of Fame legal brief. In his 22 full seasons as a head coach, Adelman twice took the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA Finals, endured losing seasons only four times, led the Kings to the playoffsin each of his eight seasons in Sacramento, and ranks as one of only eight coaches to win 1,000 or more games. He also is highly regarded for his innovative “corners” series, an offensive set that requires a big man who can pass out of the high post and players who can read and react.
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With an opt-out clause in his contract for 2014-15, the sense around Minnesota is that this could be Rick Adelman’s final season with the Timberwolves, and perhaps as an NBA coach anywhere. If that’s true, Tuesday might have marked the final meeting between Adelman and Popovich. With 1,041 career wins, spread between four teams over 23 seasons, Adelman, 67, is the only active coach with more than Popovich’s 965. “He’s been what I call a lifer,” Popovich said. “He’s been in several different programs and made them all better. He’s done a heck of a job where ever he’s gone.”