MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Rick Adelman coached four teams in his first two decades in the NBA, each time taking a year off before starting his next journey.
He didn’t wait nearly as long to take over perhaps his most challenging job yet.
Two people with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Monday that the team and the 65-year-old Adelman have agreed on terms and a contract is expected to be signed soon. The people requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.
“Houston, we have a coach,” All-Star forward Kevin Love tweeted earlier Monday, kicking off the welcoming festivities for an accomplished coach who will be expected to bring credibility and intensity back to a team that has severely lacked both in recent seasons.
Adelman is 945-616 in 20 seasons as a head coach of the Trail Blazers, Kings, Warriors and Rockets. He parted ways with Houston in April and the Rockets brought in former Timberwolves executive and coach Kevin McHale to replace him.
He’ll have his work cut out for him at his latest, and perhaps final, stop.
With the Timberwolves reeling and struggling to draw fans ever since they traded Kevin Garnett to Boston in 2007, Kahn and owner Glen Taylor set out to make a statement after Kahn’s drawn-out firing of Rambis drew criticism.
In addition to Adelman, the Wolves interviewed Don Nelson, Sam Mitchell, Bernie Bickerstaff, Mike Woodson, Terry Porter and Larry Brown in the kind of deliberate process that has become the hallmark of Kahn’s short tenure.
And even though many around the league expected Adelman to take another year off, wait for the lockout to be resolved and make a run at a team with more veterans who are considered closer to contending for a title, the Wolves managed to convince him to join them.
In doing so, Taylor and Kahn landed a proven winner who has a history of playing the kind of free-flowing, up-tempo system that Kahn so desperately wants in Minnesota. Kahn clashed with Rambis over the direction of the offense.
Adelman led the Blazers to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992 and in his 18 full seasons as a head coach he has presided over a team with a losing record just twice.