Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman has announced his retirement.
#Twolves announce the retirement of head coach Rick Adelman— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) April 21, 2014
The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda first reported the news of Adelman’s decision via Twitter:
Wolves presser will announce Adelman retirement, he'll be here, a source says— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) April 21, 2014
Although the 67-year-old coaching veteran will no longer patrol the sidelines, he's expected to remain with the T-Wolves organization as a consultant, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press.
AP Source: Rick Adelman is announcing his retirement this morning. Will stay on as a consultant with Wolves— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) April 21, 2014
His decision to retire shouldn't come as much of a surprise when you consider his wife's bout with seizures. Mary Kay Adelman's health issues kept the coach away from his team for an extended period of time earlier this season, per the AP (via ESPN).
At the time, he said, "It's just a process now. We don't know why. We have no clue why it happened. No one can figure it out. Now it's a matter of finding it out. How do you manage it? What do you do with it? How do you go forward? ... The good thing is she's home."
Adelman explained that his time to step away from coaching has come, but he also cited "great pieces" within the organization, per Zgoda:
Rick: "I'm not coming back. It's time, it's time for me to step aside."— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) April 21, 2014
Rick: "It's time for me to step aside and let someone else come in with this group...it's not that far away."— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) April 21, 2014
Rick: "There are a lot of great pieces in this team."— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) April 21, 2014
Rick: "There's a sadness. It's been your life. But there's also a relief. I'm ready and my wife's ready to move on to another phase."— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) April 21, 2014
Rick: "I wish I could have done more...wish it could have been more successful." Calls Glen Taylor best owner he's been around— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) April 21, 2014
Adelman began his 23-year head-coaching career in 1988-89 with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he remained until 1993-94. He went on to compile coaching stints with the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and Timberwolves, where he’s resided for the past three seasons.
Rick Adelman will announce his retirement today. Adelman has won 1,042 games as coach, 8th-most in NBA history and most among active coaches— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 21, 2014
With 1,042 career regular-season wins, he’s one of only eight coaches in league history to win at least 1,000 games. The other seven members on that list are Don Nelson (1,335), Lenny Wilkens (1,332), Jerry Sloan (1,221), Pat Riley (1,210), Phil Jackson (1,155), George Karl (1,131) and Larry Brown (1,098), according to Basketball-Reference.com.
During his coaching career, Adelman led two separate teams to 60-win seasons: once with the Trail Blazers in 1990-91 (63-19) and again with the Kings in 2001-02 (61-21). In 157 career playoff games, his teams posted a 79-78 record. Two of his squads in Portland became Western Conference champions.
While his three-year coaching stint with Minnesota didn’t yield a postseason berth, the team's record improved in each consecutive season under Adelman.
The 40-42 record in 2013-14 was the best since 2004-05, when Minny finished 44-38.
'Wolves All-Star power forward Kevin Love posted the following photo to his Instagram account as a tribute to his former coach:
Now, the Timberwolves will be forced to find a new man for the job. According to Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears, three key candidates already headline the organization’s wish list:
Rick Adelman to announce his retirement.Wolves have eyes on Fred Hoiberg, Tom Izzo & Stan Van Gundy,source said. @JerryZgoda 1st broke story— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) April 21, 2014
Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico echoed Minnesota's interest in Stan Van Gundy and added another possible suitor to the fold from the Phoenix Suns organization:
Rick Adelman retiring, and Timberwolves reportedly have eyes for Stan Van Gundy. Suns assistant Jerry Sichting another name to really watch.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) April 21, 2014
Regardless of who the Timberwolves tab to replace Adelman, he'll have some big shoes to fill. There are pieces in place to make Minnesota a contender—Love, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, etc.—but earning a playoff berth in the loaded West is no small feat.
Adelman has been a mainstay in the league for more than two decades, but he's decided that it's time to step away. Although he never coached a championship team, he's still among the greatest coaches of all time.