The 66-year-old Adams spent the 2013-14 campaign on Brad Stevens' staff with the Boston Celtics.
According to The Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes, "Adams endeared himself to the Celtics this past season, especially to Stevens, by being a calming voice of influence. Noted as a popular players’ coach around the league, Adams also spent considerable time working with Celtics guards Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo."
Per The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy, Adams "has worked with some of the best young talent in the league, including Derrick Rose and Omer Asik in Chicago, and the Thunder's talented young lineup of stars and role players."
In a classy gesture, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens expressed his feelings on Adams' new gig:
Adams' career has taken him to a number of destinations. He got his NBA start as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs in 1992 and spent eight seasons with the Chicago Bulls over the course of two separate tenures.
His second (and shorter) stint with the club ended on sour terms. Back in 2013, Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported that, "Adams was let go over Thibodeau's wishes this summer because [general manager Gar] Forman didn't like Adams' defiant disposition."
"It's still a bit mystifying to me," Adams said, per The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson. "And I don't understand it. And if the intent was to be hurtful to me and my family, it succeeded."
Despite the bad blood in Chicago, Adams is highly regarded almost without exception. As Celtics guard Avery Bradley put it, per The Globe's Baxter Holmes, "I can say that every team that we’ve played — everybody loves him and respects him."
Holmes went on to cite Adams' "basketball IQ and hands-on approach" as principal reasons for his popularity.
Those virtues should yield immediate dividends with Golden State. Though no one questions Kerr's IQ, he's self-evidently inexperienced when it comes to coaching itself. Adams (and Gentry) will no doubt serve as wise old sages for Kerr, offering what promises to be mostly solicited input.
Adams will also serve as a defensive coordinator of sorts. Holmes described him as "one of the league’s top defensive minds," and that will take some of the pressure off of Kerr to be fully detail-oriented on both ends of the floor. While he's busy learning on the job, he'll have plenty of proven help implementing his vision.