There was a point this summer when I was chatting with a veteran NBA player who played for Rick Adelman and knows the longtime coach as well as anyone.
The Minnesota coaching search had just begun and Adelman's name had hardly been mentioned publicly, but I told this player what I had heard about the search: Timberwolves general manager David Kahn, the much-maligned executive who once covered Adelman as a sports writer for
To which said player replied: "There's no way in hell Rick goes there."
Well, what do you know?
In a move that was surprising mainly because it was assumed he wanted to spent the twilight years of his career, well, winning, the 65-year-old coach with a .605 winning percentage (career record of 945-616) officially joined on Wednesday a team with a combined record of 32-132 in the last two seasons.
And while his decision surely had much to do with the $15 million in guaranteed money he was reportedly given, there were still plenty of questions to be answered about how he got to Minnesota and where he planned to take this sort-of-talented-but-previously-terrible team.
Adelman -- whom I covered while at
From the reasons (no, reason) he's not in Houston anymore to a report that he has
One disappointing disclaimer: Because of league rules pertaining to the lockout, Adelman couldn't discuss specific players and thus couldn't reveal his thoughts on the likes of Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams.
I also thought about the fact that you take some jobs that you think are very good and you end up -- because of the expectations and things -- that they aren't what you thought, they just blow up in your face, too. They can be just as tough of a job. That happened to me in Houston, where we lost the two guys, Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, and the whole situation changed. I just looked at it and thought, "Maybe it's a chance for me to take on a challenge like this, and where I am in my career and everything and see if I can't turn it around."
These people are different because they're young, so many guys in their early 20s, but I think their talent is there and you have to get them to understand what they have to do to turn this thing around and have some success. That's going to be the hardest thing, is to change their mentality, because they've lost for two years in a row. But at Golden State, we just had a bad mix of people and I'm hoping that's not the case here.
I'm sure I'm going to have input, but I also understand that my biggest challenge with this job is going to be coaching the team, coaching the players that I have. I certainly would like to have input on all the changes, but I can't get caught up in that when I'm not coaching the team.