Yesterday; Rick Adelman announced he would not be returning as the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves next season. There’s been plenty of discussion on the show this season regarding Adelman’s future with the team, and whether or not he would return to complete the final year of his contract — but now — there’s no more uncertainty.
The presence of one of the NBA’s stoic coaches in the league’s history will not be forgotten, but his departure does leave some unsettling questions regarding the future of the Timberwolves; who will be their next head coach?
Billy Bohl and I both expressed sentiment in respect the Adelman’s resignation, each in our own words.
Officially Official: Rick Adelman Retires – Billy Bohl at A Wolf Among Wolves
Monday morning, Rick Adelman took the stage outside the Wolves’ training facility and announced what many have long suspected: the 67-year-old is officially retiring from coaching in the NBA. He will remain with the organization as an advisor, but his days dealing with the worry of game-planning, roster construction, and the hassles of trekking across North America are over.
“It’s a real grind. You get some time off in the summer, but it’s pretty much on your mind all the time,” Adelman said. “There’s some sadness, but there’s also a relief. I’m ready and my wife’s ready to move on to another phase. We’re looking forward to that.”
Adelman played his first regular season NBA game on October 17th, 1968. Between then and yesterday, he was a professional basketball player for 7 years, a college head coach for 6, an NBA assistant for 6, and an NBA head coach for 23. He was uninvolved with basketball (in any official capacity, anyway) for just 4 stretches of time – after he retired as a player (1976-77), and after he was relieved of his coaching duties by Portland (1994-95), Golden State (1997-98) and Sacramento (2006-07). He was a true basketball lifer.
However, all that time spent in a high-stress profession eventually took its toll. “Whether you win or you lose, the pressure’s on you,” Adelman said. “I’ve been doing this a long time and been in the league a long time and that, probably, had more impact than anything else. I just felt for my wife and I, we wanted to enjoy other things. Wanted to have Christmas at home with my other kids, stuff like that. I’m looking forward to that. I’m certainly going to miss it. My wife would be the first to say it’s real consuming. You get caught up in it way too much.”
Ambassador To The Great State of Basketball – Zachary Bennett at Hickory-High
Adelman is husband, father, and a 68 year old with more wisdom than I am able to try and fathom. It isn’t hard to find nice things that have been said about Adelman and what he brought to the game of basketball during his years on the sideline. He’s the mastermind of motion, off-ball screening and cutting, that created an offence so tangible that even Gregg Popovich admits he borrowed ideas from Adelman’s playbook, among many others.
After Adelman announced his retirement on Monday morning, a gloomy uncertainty surfaced as Flip Saunders sighted no timeline or the name of any candidates. Saunders did not, however, rule out the idea of returning to the sideline as the Wolves coach, although he mentioned that isn’t what team owner Glen Taylor would prefer to see. Now, without not only an unmistakable, prestigious, experienced coach; Minnesota stands amid an unsettling and uncertain period of reformation under the new, Saunders, regime.
Prepare for tonight’s episode of the Break the Huddle Show. The number to the studio is 612-235-6353.
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