Richard Leonard Adelman (Rick)
Position: Guard ▪ Shoots: Right
Height: 6-1 ▪ Weight: 175 lbs.
Born: June 16, 1946 (Age 66) in Lynwood, California
High School: Saint Pius X in Downey, California
College: Loyola Marymount University
Draft: San Diego Rockets, 7th round (1st pick, 79th overall), 1968 NBA Draft
NBA Debut: October 17, 1968
As Coach: 22 Yrs, 1000-703, .587 W-L%
After taking over for the ineffective Mike Schuler, and at the age of 42, Rick Adelman won his first game against the expansion Miami Heat on February 26, 1989. In his first season at the head of the Portland bench he went 14-21, or .400, which, well...remember that for later.
Adelman went on to coach 6 years in Portland, becoming their 2nd winningest coach (behind Jack Ramsey) with 291 victories and 154 losses (.654). He followed that up with a 2 year stint in Golden State where he went 66-98 (.402) before P.J. Carlesimo took over and got choked by Latrel Sprewell.
Following his time in the Bay Area, Coach Adelman headed a few miles inland to Sacramento where he spent 8 years becoming the King's all time winningest coach, 395--229 (.633), and leading them to one of the most infamous playoffs losses in league, no: sports, history:
Kobe later came back to break his unicorn.
After his time in Sactown, Adelman headed down to Texas where he led the Houston Rockets through a maze of injuries and rebuilding to a 193-135 (.588) record over 4 seasons. Then, Minny.
Rick Adelman has been a head coach as long as the Wolves have been around as a franchise. Not only was he around for the above travesty (still never righted by the karma gods), but he was around for this:
1000-703 (.587) in the regular season. 79-78 (.503) in the playoffs with 2 Western Conference championships (89/90, 91/92...see above), and one Kobe asterisk conference in 2000. It's been a pretty damn good run.
With the Wolves...um....it...just look:
|Rk||Coach||From||To||Yrs||G||W||L||W-L%||W > .500||Plyfs||G||W||L||W-L%||Conf||Champ|
With his 999th victory the other night, Rick Adelman became the Wolves' 2nd winningest coach in franchise history. Last night, he piloted an injury-ravaged squad to tie the best non-KG season in franchise history, which was previously achieved in 1990-91 with a 29-53 record under Bill Musselman. (And, for the millionth time, it's still a shame what this franchise did to Dwane Casey.)
Another interesting tidbit regarding Wolves coaches is that 8 of the franchise's 10 coaches have only lasted 2 seasons with the team. Not only is there a 2nd year injury curse, but a 2nd year coaching one, as well.
And that's where we're at with Rick Adelman. Will he or won't he?
Selfishly and emotionally, and purely as a Wolves fan, I hope he stays. The Wolves, if healthy, and if they keep the band together and draft halfway competently, should have a fantastic team next year. For the sake of continuity alone, it would be nice to see Adelman back at the head of the bench with this group of players. If they can keep Bud, Pek, and AK, while adding a nice wing player in the draft and someone like Kyle Korver or Mike Dunleavy, it's on, and they (again, if healthy) are Western Conference contenders.
Trying to detach myself a bit, I hope he takes his money and travels the world with his wife (or stays at home and plays checkers if that's what they like to do). The team should be good enough to allow for a 2nd tier coach (not Terry Porter) to do a similar amount of damage. Adelman's amazing coaching kept this year's team together for next year's run. That's where he worked his magic and that's where any Wolves fan should look first to place their gratitude. This year was (still is) a slog. The fact that they're still competing and that Ricky has emerged as even more Ricky than ever before is one of the more amazing and hopeful things that has graced this franchise in a long, long time. There's no mark in the coaching box score for what he's accomplished this season but we all know it's there.
6 games to go. 32-49 and one of his best coaching performances in his long and accomplished career would be quite a thing to hang a hat on. Thanks for the 1000, thanks for the 50 or so here in Minny, and thanks for one of the most touching moments in franchise history with last night's post game ceremony. It's been both a pleasure and a welcome distraction from the boobery typically associated with the franchise I, for better or worse, was geographically destined to root for once we moved from Knoxville, TN to Minneapolis, MN when I was 6.