Archives For Coach Interviews

Rick Adelman

Photo by Steve McPherson

Adelman’s press conference at the start of Media Day was an effective keynote address for things that the players addressed again and again throughout the day: a need for staunch team defense, the chance to run more plays with more practice time in this non-lockout-shortened season, and the kind of locker room culture he sees evolving on the team.

  1. steventurous
    Adelman talking about what huge drop off the #Twolves had due to injury and not having guys to step up.
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:01:40
  2. Adelman really hammered how the Wolves were in a good position last season prior to Rubio’s injury (and other injuries like Pek’s nagging bone spurs), but how their lack of depth was felt most keenly not in the abilities of the bench but in their attitude and approach.
  3. steventurous
    Adelman: “We’ll still have defensive deficiencies but we can be smart team defenders.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:02:58
  4. This was a point that got brought up time and again. Their frontcourt is certainly not going to be a defensive terror, but Adelman believes (as do many players) that what’s then important is buying into team defense.
  5. steventurous
    Adelman: “Veterans like Roy and Andrei know how to play and that’s a big difference.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:04:36
  6. It’s important that the Timberwolves didn’t just get older, but actively sought out players who have been in the playoffs and had success there. It’s clear that Adelman really values that particular kind of veteran presence.
  7. steventurous
    Adelman says Roy can still get his shot, gives more flexibility at the end of games. Hasn’t had any setbacks with health.
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:06:31
  8. steventurous
    Adelman: “Pek had a better run than Lin in New York.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:07:17
  9. Well, maybe. Of course, he didn’t have the benefit of Lin’s tremendous backstory. But come on, he’s just as cuddly and adorable.
  10. steventurous
    Adelman says you can wait for Ricky to come back, have to play with the guys they have right now.
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:08:30
  11. steventurous
    Adelman: “Rubio created an atmosphere that made guys feel like they could win any game.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:10:05
  12. I can’t overstate how important I think this is. Rubio himself echoed it when he talked about how even when he’s not playing he has to be there to bring the team together. I think he’s the guy that really does this, and it comes down to something you can’t train or teach. He just exudes confidence and it’s infectious.
  13. steventurous
    Adelman says Williams is a forward and needs to play both positions.
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:11:19
  14. steventurous
    Players playing out of position (Ridnour, Williams) are going to have deficiencies, but they have to play through them, says Adelman.
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:12:45
  15. As we know, Adelman prizes flexibility in his players. It’s clear he thinks of positions more in terms of “wings” and “forwards” and “ballhandlers,” with the lines sometimes being blurred between all of those ideas. That can be a tough thing for players to grasp, but hopefully with more time to work on the system, players playing more than one position will be able to take advantage of that, rather than being hamstrung by it.
  16. steventurous
    Adelman: “Shved has to be more selfish. Almost passing to a fault.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:14:52
  17. This stands in interesting distinction to his play in the Olympics, where he seemed to be confidently running the team and taking the right open shots. It’s maybe the case that the language barrier shouldn’t be underestimated here. Even just a little bit of hesitation in making sense of on-court communication could be leading to him deferring as he adjusts.
  18. steventurous
    “It’s a shock for guys from overseas not because of big games but playing 82 games against great players.” –Adelman
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:17:16
  19. I like that Adelman emphasized how it’s not the size of any individual game in the NBA for players coming into the league, but more the sheer slog of the long season. Players like Rubio last season and Shved this season are coming from much lighter schedules. That’s the biggest adjustment for them, and for rookies as well.
  20. steventurous
    Adelman: “Everybody talks about my system. My system was Vlade Divac and Chis Webber.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:19:55
  21. Love this. Systems are great, but when you’ve got sweet passing big men like that, you can make a lot of stuff work.
  22. steventurous
    Adelman: “We went to so much pick and roll [last season] because that was the way to win.” #Twolves
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:21:21
  23. steventurous
    Adelman: “You’re going to see us run a lot more things than we used to run.” #Twolves
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:22:21
  24. I’m excited for this possibility, but I hope they still go with the pick and roll a bunch, given how good Shved has looked running it, plus Rubio when he comes back.
  25. steventurous
    Seems like we’re going to see a lot of different looks in the preseason as Adelman figures out how Shved, etc. work with the team.
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:23:48
  26. steventurous
    Adelman: “Too many times last year, when we lost a game, it didn’t hurt enough.”
    Mon, Oct 01 2012 10:25:31
  27. This was another thing that a lot of players emphasized. Without calling anyone out, I think they just tried to convey that as things fell apart last season through injury, a lot of guys didn’t stay in the game but instead started putting their heads down and just hoping to get through the season. Of course, that culture is there for the Wolves going back further than last season, but it will be great if they can begin to change that this season.

Adelman in the flesh

Benjamin Polk —  August 23, 2011 — 4 Comments

Multiple sources (here and here) are reporting that Rick Adelman is in town today to have an actual face-to-face interview with Kahn, Taylor and Moor. Jerry Zgoda says this: “The Wolves brass worked for weeks to get Adelman to come in for more than a phone interview.  If he wants the job, and they can agree on a salary, the job is probably his.”

This is good; to my mind, Adelman is easily the best candidate on the team’s docket (with Sam Mitchell coming in a moderately distant second). Plus, you and I both know phone interviews are for suckers. It’s amusing how the Wolves seem to be teetering here between making an actual, substantial, good decision (hiring Adelman) and making an utterly rotten one (hiring, like, Don Nelson or Larry Brown).

It seems the Timberwolves’ coaching search has been expanded. Which makes sense since Rick Adelman is apparently putting on his “don’t touch me” face. The latest entry into the sweepstakes is none other than KG’s mentor, scorer of the first points in Wolves history, former NBA Coach of the Year and total righteous dude Sam Mitchell himself.

Mitchell is, in many ways, the people’s choice for the job but he’s yet another candidate who lacks that lusted-after pedigree for up-tempo basketball. Is that even a thing we’re doing anymore?

Incidentally, when you search “Sam Mitchell Timberwolves” on youtube, the only really relevant thing is this little clip of Sammy getting crushed by Penny Hardaway. Such is the sad fate of the NBA yeoman.

After dallying with Terry Porter, Bernie Bickerstaff and Mike Woodson last week, the Glen Taylor and David Kahn appear to be getting into the heart of the order as it were. The affable, Yeltsin-esque Don Nelson interviewed with the Wolves on Sunday while Rick Adelman spoke with the team on Saturday. If you’re an Adelman fan, it is probably not a great sign that he chose the phone as his preferred interview medium.  Kind of like when I spent an entire day of fifth grade psyching myself up to ask L____ to “go with me” and then when I finally did she responded by telling me she’d “think about it.” (Twenty years later, and I’m still married to her (not true).)

Word is, too, that Larry Brown lurks on the horizon. I very much hope that this never becomes enough of a reality that I’ll have to explain why its a nightmarishly bad idea. And does anyone else get the nagging feeling that flirting with all of these Living Legends of Coaching seems to make the team somehow less credible? Doesn’t it kind of feel like the Wolves are trying a little too hard to look cool?

As for my analysis on the situation, I’ll defer to commenter Biggity2bit who hopes that the Wolves “make Adelman a contract offer today, and if he pauses when looking at it that Kahn or Glen lean over and add an extra ‘zero’ to the end of the number and give it back to Adelman.”


The Timberwolves official coaching search has begun. According to Jerry Zgoda at the Strib, Terry Porter, that pigeon-toed former Blazer and T-Wolf interviewed with the Wolves on Monday. And today, the reports are the former Hawks’ coach Mike Woodson is in town to chat. Which is a little peculiar considering that neither of these  fellows are known for coaching up-tempo basketball. Porter, remember, famously slowed down the Suns to not very great results. And in Atlanta, Mike Woodson’s offense was built around shot-clock burning half-court isolations for Joe Johnson–not exactly the best formula for an open-court team with a creative point guard and dicey perimeter scoring. But who know, perhaps basketball DNA is more fluid and permeable than its biological cousin.

In another addition of the “stuff I didn’t use for the Truehoop story” series,  here’s my mildly edited interview with Kurt Rambis. I had been told that Rambis was so furious about the proposed content of my story that he nearly refused to talk to me. So by the time I got into his office, I was, just like the pro journalist I am, excruciatingly nervous. The barely-concealed irritation on his face as I entered certainly didn’t help matters. Don’t worry, it got easier.

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