Timberwolves coach Adelman announces retirement
Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman announced Monday that he is retiring.
Adelman was 97-133 in his three seasons in Minnesota and the Timberwolves were 40-42 in 2013-14. They last made the playoffs at the end of the 2003-04 season.
"I think it's time for me to step aside," Adelman said in a statement. "When I came here, we really tried to see if we could turn some things around and we made some strides. Not as much as we would have liked, but I think it's time for me to step aside and let someone else come in with this group. We're not that far away. I really enjoyed my time here. I thank Glen so much. He's the best owner I've ever been around. Not only as an owner, but as a person and everything. It's been an enjoyable experience, but I'm ready and my wife's ready to move on to another phase. We're looking forward to that."
The Timberwolves said that Adelman plans to move back to Portland, Ore., to spend time with family, including his grandchildren. He will remain a part of the team as a consultant.
Adelman has an opt-out clause in his contract, and was set to make $6 million next season.
"On behalf of the Minnesota Timberwolves, I would like to thank Rick for all he has done for our organization," team owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. "Under Rick's leadership, our team has improved each of the past three seasons. It has been a pleasure getting to know Rick and his wife Mary Kay, and I wish them the best in retirement."
Adelman went 1,042-749 in 23 seasons in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and Timberwolves. He ranks eighth all-time in NBA coaching wins.
"Rick Adelman established himself as one of our game's great coaches, manning the NBA sidelines for the better part of a quarter century," commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "One of only eight coaches in our history to amass 1,000 victories, Rick's versatility and rapport with his players ultimately led to that legacy of success. On behalf of the NBA, I would like to thank Rick for his extraordinary service to the league."
Team president Flip Saunders could move from the front office to the bench, but there is reportedly interest from the franchise in former Timberwolves guard Fred Hoiberg, who led Iowa State to the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament in March.
"Coach Adelman is truly one of the greatest coaches in our game's history, and he has helped restore credibility and respectability to the Timberwolves franchise through what he stands for both on and off the court," Saunders said in a statement. "He has impacted the NBA with his offensive vision and influenced the philosophies of many coaches in the league. I wish Rick and Mary Kay the very best in their future, and look forward to his continued contributions to the Timberwolves organization."
The job could be attractive in that it offers stability with 12 players on the current roster under contract for next season. All-Star forward Kevin Love is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the 2014-15 season.
In addition to Hoiberg, multiple media outlets reported that early candidates include former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and Michigan State's Tom Izzo.
As an NBA player, Adelman spent seven seasons with the San Diego Rockets, Trail Blazers, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Jazz and Kansas City-Omaha Kings. He had career averages of 7.7 points, 3.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 462 regular season games.
Here is a sampling of what other NBA coaches said about Adelman's impact on the game, via ESPN.com:
---San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: "He's been what I call a lifer. He's been in several different programs, made them all better, done a heck of a job wherever he's gone, has always been underrated and has been a guy that players have really enjoyed playing for. That's who he is. ... I've stolen from him, very honestly."
---Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers: "A lot of people have run the elbow action, but no one's run it like him. He started doing it in Portland and then in Sac, everywhere he's gone he's won for the most part. He's one of the better coaches that we've ever had in the league and a lot of people don't realize that. And I think that's too bad. But he's been good for the game. He's brought a lot to the game."
---Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "In terms of the impact he's had on the league, you just check out everybody's playbook. Everybody has at least some version or piece of his offense in their playbook. And most teams call it Sacramento. He was and has been an incredible innovator in this game."
---Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau: "I think every coach in this league has taken some of his concepts. You can see every team has part of his corner series as part of their offense."