Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman announced his retirement from the NBA today.
“It’s time, it’s time for me to step aside.” Adelman said at a press conference. “I think it’s time for me to step aside and someone else to come in. This group, we’ve said it before, it’s not that far away.”
Adelman won't go far. Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said Adelman will remain a consultant to the team. Saunders said his new role will "evolve," but they'll use him as much as they can.
After 23 years on the bench, Adelman has compiled a 1,042-749 coaching record. The Wolves went 97-133 in three seasons under Adelman, finishing this season 40-42, nine games out of the playoff picture.
"Rick Adelman established himself as one of our game’s great coaches, manning the NBA sidelines for the better part of a quarter century,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement, according to Timberwolves.com. “One of only eight coaches in our history to amass 1,000 victories, Rick’s versatility and rapport with his players ultimately led to that legacy of success. On behalf of the NBA, I would like to thank Rick for his extraordinary service to the league."
“I wish I could have done more, but I’ve really enjoyed my time," Adelman said.
Adelman, 67, missed time with the team each of the past two seasons (13 games last season, one game this season) while doctors attempted to gain control over his wife Mary Kay's seizures.
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers recently praised Adelman for developing some of the best motion offenses, involving skilled big men who can pass, during his career.
“But nobody runs it like him,” Rivers said, according to the Star Tribune. “He started doing it in Portland and then in Sac (Sacramento) and everywhere he’s gone, he has won for the most part. He’s one of the better coaches we’ve ever had in the league. A lot of people don’t realize that and I think that’s too bad. But he’s been good for the game. He’s brought a lot to the game. And I think a lot of us coaches look at the stuff he runs and try to integrate, unsuccessfully in most cases.”
Saunders said there is no timetable for when a new coach will be hired.
Who will be the next coach? The rumor mills is humming. University of Florida coach Billy Donovan is reportedly among those the Wolves would like to have.
Yahoo! Sports reported last week that Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg and former Heat and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy are on Minnesota's "wish list" of replacement head coaches.