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The Rockets are seeking their third coach since Rudy Tomjanovich stepped down in 2003 because of health reasons. Jeff Van Gundy went 182-146 from 2003-07 and led Houston to three playoff appearances.

Morey would not say whether he’s leaning toward another experienced hand, or opting this time for a younger, up-and-coming assistant. He set no timeline for finding Adelman’s successor, and said the looming NBA labor dispute would not alter Houston’s hiring process.

“The only league environment that’s affecting our choice of a coach is all options for who we might want to consider are unavailable for the interview right now,” Morey said, “because some of those options would be in the playoffs.”

Adelman plans to move back to Portland, Ore., and start preparing for two family weddings this summer. He said he would listen to any offer that comes his way.

“When you leave a place, you kind of wonder, ‘Well, will I ever have another opportunity?’” he said. “I’ve had that happen a couple of times, where I’ve had opportunities and if I was interested, I probably could get it again. But I’m just going to wait and see what happens.”

Adelman led Portland to two NBA finals in the early 1990s, and was fired after the 1993-94 season. He had two losing seasons in Golden State, before building Sacramento into a Western Conference power in the early 2000s. His contract was not renewed by the Kings after they went 44-38 in 2005-06.

He’s leaving Houston with a positive feeling, mostly because he developed such close ties to his players. All of them advocated Adelman’s return in their exit meetings with team management, and Adelman said the relationships he built with them makes him want to coach again.

“When you have the receptiveness that we had from these players, in the way they played together, even in the last part of the season, that’s what’s fun about coaching,” he said. “I know what we’re doing is good, and I know that it’s successful and I enjoyed the experience.”