Rick Adelman

And-Ones: Expansion, Free Agency, Adelman

NBA commissioner Adam Silver made his latest statement on the possibility of expansion during an interview Sunday on NBA TV (video link).

Silver has repeatedly said that the idea of adding teams won’t be considered until after the 2024/25 season. The league wanted to get its new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place, which has been done, and negotiate its new media rights deal before thinking about expanding.

“I think it makes sense over time, if you’re a successful organization, to continue to grow,” Silver said. “There’s no doubt there are a lot of great cities we’re interested in having in the NBA.”

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Lakers guard Austin Reaves is among the upcoming free agents who boosted their value during the NBA playoffs, writes Frank Urbina of HoopsHype. Reaves was already headed for a big payday, but his importance to the team was on display during L.A.’s run to the Western Conference Finals. Reaves will be restricted, so the Lakers can match an offer from another team, and Urbina believes he might get more than the $52MM over four years that L.A. can offer before he explores the market. Lakers forward Rui Hachimura, Heat guard Gabe Vincent, Clippers guard Russell Westbrook, Nuggets swingman Bruce Brown, Nets forward Cameron Johnson and Suns center Jock Landale also make Urbina’s list.
  • James Harden and Kyrie Irving are the top names on HoopsHype’s updated list of this year’s best free agents. The former Nets teammates will be the most-watched players on the market this summer, with Harden rumored to be interested in returning to Houston and Irving possibly not a lock to re-sign with Dallas. Kristaps Porzingis, Fred VanVleet and Khris Middleton round out the top five. The same five players are at the top of a free agent list compiled by Alex Kennedy of Heavy.com.
  • The National Basketball Coaches Association announced Sunday that Rick Adelman is this year’s winner of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Adelman ranks 10th in career coaching wins with 1,042 and reached two NBA Finals with the Trail Blazers.“Chuck was a great coach and respected by all those who coached against his teams,” Adelman said. “To receive an award like this I have to thank all those who helped me along the way, in particular my assistant coaches and front offices. I would also like to thank the players I had through the years. Their effort and cooperation made everything I did possible. Good players make coaching much easier.”

2021 Hall Of Fame Class Announced

As expected, Paul Pierce, Ben Wallace and Chris Webber will be part of the Class of 2021 for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

They will be joined by Chris Bosh, coaches Rick Adelman, Jay Wright and Bill Russell, and WNBA players Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson.

Among former players, Bosh is the only name that hasn’t been reported already. He is best known as part of the Big Three in Miami that made four straight Finals appearances and won two NBA titles early last decade. He played 13 NBA seasons, with the first seven coming in Toronto before getting a chance to join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with the Heat.

Bosh is an 11-time All-Star and was a second-team All-NBA selection in 2007. A medical condition ended his career early, and he was elected to the Hall in his first year of eligibility.

Adelman made two trips to the NBA Finals and is the ninth-winningest coach in league history with 1,042 career victories. He played seven seasons in the league, but made his greatest impact as a coach, guiding the Trail Blazers, Warriors, Kings, Rockets and Timberwolves.

Wright has been the head coach at Villanova since 2001 and has more than 600 career wins. He has led the Wildcats to three Final Fours and captured NCAA titles in 2016 and 2018.

Russell was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975 for his legendary playing career, but he was also a pioneer as a coach. He took over as player-coach of the Celtics in 1966, becoming the first Black head coach in North American professional sports. Russell had a 341-290 coaching record and won a pair of NBA titles.

Griffith is a seven-time WNBA all-star and was captured the league’s MVP, Newcomer of the Year and Defensive Player awards in 1999. She was named Finals MVP in 2005 after leading the Sacramento Monarchs to their first WNBA championship.

Jackson was an Australian star who won three silver medals in the Olympics. She’s among the WNBA career leaders in games, minutes, field goals and three-pointers and helped the Seattle Storm win two titles, capturing Finals MVP honors in 2010.

Several other players were also voted into the Hall, Wojnarowski adds (Twitter links):

  • International Committee: Toni Kukoc.
  • Contributors: Val Ackerman, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Howard Garfinkel.
  • Veteran’s Committee: Bob Dandridge.
  • Women’s Veteran Committee: Pearl Moore.
  • Early African-American Pioneers: Clarence Jenkins.

Photo courtesy of USA Sports Images.

Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, Rick Adelman Among 2021 Hall Of Fame Finalists

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced 14 finalists for the Class of 2021 election, according to a press release. These nine players and five coaches are the candidates to be named Hall-of-Famers when this year’s class is announced on May 16.

This year’s finalists are as follows:



Hardaway, Johnson, Wallace, Webber, and Andrews have been finalists in the past and are receiving consideration again this year. The other nine are first-time finalists, though Russell has – of course – already been inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player.

Among this year’s first-time finalists, Bosh, Pierce, and Adelman are a few of the most interesting names. Bosh earned 11 All-Star nods and won a pair of NBA championships before a blood-clotting issue cut his career short. Pierce made 10 All-Star teams and won a title (and a Finals MVP award) over the course of his 19 NBA seasons. Adelman, meanwhile, is the ninth-winningest coach in NBA history, with an all-time regular season record of 1,042-749 (.582).

Due to the coronavirus, 2020’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony couldn’t be held as planned last year and has been rescheduled for May 14-16. The Class of 2020 includes Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and the late Kobe Bryant.

The ceremony for the Class of 2021 is scheduled to take place in September 2021, following May’s announcement of the inductees.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Warriors, Wolves, Knicks

The week began with the creation of a pair of coaching vacancies, as the Knicks fired Mike Woodson an hour before Rick Adelman announced his retirement from the Wolves. There will probably be other jobs opening up, but Jermaine O’Neal gets the sense that Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob isn’t down on Mark Jackson, as the veteran center tells USA Today’s Sam Amick.

“When I speak to Joe, he likes what we have,” O’Neal said. “But hey, it’s a different era right now. We have a new breed of owners in our league and their patience is a lot shorter. So I don’t know ultimately what his plan is — that’s up to him. He pays the bills. He can do whatever he wants to do with his team. But from the conversations I’ve had with him, he likes Mark.”

Here’s more on the Warriors and other coaching news from around the league:

  • Andre Iguodala has Jackson’s fate on his mind as the Warriors go through the playoffs, observes Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group“We’re trying to save our coach,” Iguodala said. “Every game is pressure for us.”  
  • Fellow Bay Area News Group scribe Tim Kawakami suggests that Steve Kerr and Fred Hoiberg would top the Warriors‘ list of targets if the team parts ways Jackson (Twitter link). Jackson would “almost surely” want an extension that includes a pay raise if the team decides to keep him, Kawakami writes.
  • Adelman said he made his decision to retire in part because he didn’t think it would help the Wolves to have both him and Kevin Love on expiring contracts next season, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune notes. Adelman also said he probably would have retired regardless of his wife’s health, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter links).
  • Flip Saunders hinted that the Wolves will prioritize coaching candidates who’d continue to run an offense similar to Adelman’s, Zgoda tweets.
  • The Knicks will encourage whomever they hire to replace Woodson to re-hire longtime assistant coach Herb Williams, who was let go along with the rest of the team’s coaching staff today, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. However, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News casts doubt on the report, suggesting that the idea that team wants Williams back comes from neither Phil Jackson nor Williams (Twitter link).

Rick Adelman Announces Retirement

Rick Adelman announced his retirement from coaching at a press conference today, the Timberwolves confirm (Twitter link). A parting of ways has been widely expected, and fellow Star Tribune scribe Sid Hartman wrote last week that there was “no chance” that Adelman would return. That followed a pair of reports last month that cast serious doubt on the coach’s future. The team and Adelman had a mutual option for 2014/15, and either side had the ability to walk away from the contract. He’ll remain with the team as a consultant, the team also says (on Twitter).

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Charlotte BobcatsTom Izzo, Fred Hoiberg and Stan Van Gundy are the team’s targets to coach next season, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported last week, though all three seem difficult targets. Hoiberg appeared unlikely to accept an offer from the team even before Iowa State gave him a raise, and report from February indicated Van Gundy probably won’t coach anywhere next season. Izzo vehemently denied rumors that he’d coach the Pistons. A more attainable replacement for Adelman could be Suns assistant coach Jerry Sichting, whom Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio identifies as a “name to really watch” in connection to the Wolves job (Twitter link). Wolves President of basketball operations Flip Saunders reportedly would like to take over as coach, but owner Glen Taylor prefers that two different people handle the top front office job and the head coaching gig.

Adelman, 67, is stepping away with the eighth-most wins in NBA history, having compiled a 1,042-749 record in 23 seasons. He arrived in Minnesota for the 2011/12 season after a three-year stint with the Rockets, but he failed to lift the Wolves into the playoffs during his tenure. He enjoyed much greater success elsewhere, leading the Trail Blazers to two Finals appearances in his first four seasons as an NBA coach and nearly guiding the Kings to the Finals in 2002, when they lost a seven-game heartbreaker in the conference finals.

Those Kings teams cemented Adelman’s reputation as an offensive wizard, but Zgoda suggested last month that if he hadn’t retired from the Wolves, the team would have declined to pick up his option for next season. In any case, the health of Adelman’s wife likely weighed heavily in his decision. He missed 11 games to tend to her during the 2012/13 season, when she was suffering from seizures, and Adelman missed time to deal with unspecified personal issues this season.

Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune was the first to report the news, via Twitter. Sam Amick of USA Today confirmed the report (Twitter link). Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Chance Adelman Returns As Wolves Coach

There is no chance that Rick Adelman will be back as coach of the Timberwolves next season, one of the team’s decision-makers tells Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. It’s certainly not a surprise, given that many around the Wolves have believed that the 67-year-old would retire after the season. Fellow Star Tribune scribe Jerry Zgoda said last month that if Adelman didn’t leave, the Wolves would turn down their mutual option to retain him. Still, it seemed at the time that there was at least a remote chance the longtime coach would be back with the team.

Adelman is set to meet today with owner Glen Taylor and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders, with a final decision on the coach’s future to come as soon as this week. Both the team and Adelman have two weeks to exercise the mutual option. The Wolves have reportedly discussed him staying on with the club as a consultant, though it’s unclear if that will happen. Adelman’s wife has suffered from seizures over the past few years, and her health weighed on his mind before he decided to coach this season.

The Wolves haven’t made the playoffs in three seasons under Adelman, even though they made a nine-game improvement this year. He’s otherwise been a successful NBA coach, compiling a 1,042-749 record and winning raves for his offensive innovations.

The Wolves had apparently envisioned a strong pursuit of Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, but he’s unlikely to join the Wolves, and while Taylor and Saunders like Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, too, he’s also a longshot, Hartman writes. Taylor doesn’t want Saunders to coach because he’d prefer his top basketball executive and his coach not to be the same person, Hartman writes. Saunders reportedly would like to return to the bench, and Hartman thinks Saunders can convince his boss to let him do so.

Northwest Rumors: Adelman, Corbin, Karl, Stotts

In wake of the speculation that Rick Adelman will step away from coaching next season, Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press looks at how the longtime coach’s legacy and examines the influence he’s had on the likes of Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich, and Tom Thibodeau. Here is tonight’s rundown on the rumors out of the Northwest Division:

  • Adelman will meet with Wolves president Flip Saunders and owner Glen Taylor within the next 24 hours and make a decision about next season “fast,” tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com. Greder adds that the decision might surface as soon as this week (Twitter link).
  • Former Nuggets coach George Karl wouldn’t be interested in taking on a coaching role for a rebuilding team like the Wolves, reveals Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
  • Jazz players, including Trey Burke and Derrick Favors, have advocated for Tyrone Corbin‘s return next year, but Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune doesn’t think it’s a certainty that the first-year coach will remain in Utah beyond this season. The Jazz concluded their season with a double overtime victory over Minnesota tonight.
  • John Canzano of the Oregonian thinks the Blazers would be wise to lock up Terry Stotts to a long-term extension in Portland. Waiting too long to show that the team has faith in Stotts might have a negative impact on the franchise, Canzano argues.

T-Wolves Notes: Adelman, Love, Rubio

Rick Adelman‘s contract with the Timberwolves includes a mutual option with the team in which either side can opt out of the deal; the agreement calls for a decision to be made no later than two weeks after the end of the regular season (noted by the Associated Press). The above piece sheds light on the biggest criticisms surrounding Adelman’s performance this year, and it specifically mentions his questionable rotation decisions with Kevin Love and the team’s young players. Team president Flip Saunders is expected to sit down and talk with the long-time NBA head coach to discuss their future.

Keeping that in mind, Andy Greder and Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press write that there is an understanding between Adelman and the team that he can return next season as a consultant. Greder and Walters have more interesting tidbits to pass along out of Minnesota, and you can find them below:

  • Despite the uncertainty of Love’s future, there is no intention of trading him.
  • On the premise that Ricky Rubio hasn’t performed at an all-star level this season, It seems more probable that the T-Wolves would choose to offer a four-year extension rather than a five-year max when the two can negotiate a rookie deal extension between July and October.
  • The team will look to add a two-way wing player this summer. While they could also look to make a trade in order to boost their defense, owner Glen Taylor says it probably wouldn’t be a “big” one.
  • As with Love, Taylor doesn’t seem open to dealing Pekovic or Rubio right now.
  • Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng are expected to be key contributors next season, and Dieng’s standout performances during the latter portion of this year gives the team some added flexibility as it continues to deal with Nikola Pekovic‘s lingering injury concerns.

And-Ones: Knicks, Wolves, Silver

Carmelo Anthony was very complimentary when discussing Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, writes Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Anthony said, “Thibs [Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau] is a great coach. His system kind of reminds me of [Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich’s system. You put anybody in that system and it’s going to work. And that’s what they’ve been doing. They had guys who have been sitting out all season long, guys [have] been in and out the lineup, and they seem to get it done.” The Bulls are one of the teams mentioned as a possible destination for Anthony if he leaves the Knicks this summer.

More from around the league:

  • The Knicks have missed the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. In a separate article, Begley looks at what this means for the franchise.
  • There are three major contract situations the Timberwolves will have to deal with this offseason, according to Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. The team will have to decide what to do with Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and coach Rick Adleman.
  • In a separate article, Zgoda looks at the state of the Wolves roster heading into next season.
  •  Adam Silver thinks the NBA playoffs could benefit from a fresh look, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. The call to make changes to the current format is in response to the superiority of the Western Conference.

Fred Hoiberg Unlikely To Coach Wolves

The Wolves reportedly plan a strong push to make top NBA coaching prospect Fred Hoiberg their next head coach, but he’s always been unlikely to join the team in that capacity, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. There are reportedly many close to the Wolves who feel as though Rick Adelman will step down after the season, and Wolfson believes it’s likely that happens early in the two-week window that both Adelman and the team have to exercise their mutual option for 2014/15 (Twitter link).

Hoiberg has won plaudits from NBA circles for his work at Iowa State, where he became coach nearly four years ago after serving as an executive for the Wolves, one of three NBA teams for which he played during his 10-year career. He and Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders have a close relationship, and owner Glen Taylor is an admirer, too. Saunders and Taylor feel the same way about Tom Izzo, but he seems a longshot to leave Michigan State.

The 41-year-old Hoiberg last year received a 10-year, $20MM deal to remain at Iowa State, though he’d only need to give the school $500K to buy his way out of the deal and take an NBA job. It sounds like it’ll take a long-term commitment from an NBA team to pry him from the Cyclones, but executives around the league are enamored with him.