Houston Rockets: 10 Reasons Coach Rick Adelman Should Retire
As the Houston Rockets continue to see their playoff hopes slowly die, holding a 25-30 record and in 11th place in the Western Conference, coach Rick Adelman has said he will contemplate retirement after his contract runs out this season.
The Rockets, coming off a miserable January, have gone 3-3 thus far in February, and nothing appears to be getting significantly better for the team.
Adelman, in his 20th year as coach and 43rd year in the league, has been talking it over with his wife whether he will step down from basketball.
Here are 10 reasons why Adelman should retire after the 2010-2011 season.
10. The Rockets Are a Bad Team
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The Houston Rockets find themselves without a superstar after center Yao Ming went down with another injury this season, which could ultimately force Ming's retirement.
The team is currently 25-30 after a brutal January saw the Rockets go 6-11.
Recently, they lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves at home, giving way to a Timberwolves team that was 12-39 at the time.
The team is simply not very good, and the Rockets—expected to be playoff contenders—find themselves grappling for respectability on the basketball court.
9. The Rockets Are Falling Out Of the Playoffs
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The Rockets are struggling, finding themselves in 11th place in the Western Conference in the race for the playoffs.
With no superstar in sight, it doesn't appear they are going to get there.
For a team that had playoff aspirations coming into the season, it's been a big letdown and undoubtedly has been frustrating for Adelman.
8. The Last Two Years
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Rick Adelman started off red-hot with the Rockets in his first two years with the team, leading them to 55-27 and 53-29 records.
That's where all the playoff expectations arose from.
But since those two years, the Rockets have gone 42-40 last season and 25-30 this year.
Not only has that been a big drop-off, it appears things are getting worse.
You can't expect a top-notch coach like Adelman to hang around at the end of his accomplished career with a floundering team.
7. Adelman Has Lost His Star Player
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Let's face it, once Tracy McGrady left the Rockets, Yao Ming WAS the Houston Rockets.
Now, after suffering a stress fracture in his foot, Ming could be done for good in the NBA.
Nobody on the Rockets' current roster can come close to making up for Ming's absence, nor can the whole team.
Unless the Rockets somehow swing a deal for Denver's Carmelo Anthony, it appears to be a slow and laborious climb in Houston.
6. Adelman Misses The Glory Years With the Kings
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Despite two solid seasons in Houston, Rick Adelman can probably never re-create his time with the Sacramento Kings ever again, a tenure that that included five 50-win seasons in eight years.
Adelman's Kings were a legitimate threat virtually every year, and he's likely never going to get the Rockets back to that point.
When you start thinking about the glory years, it's a signal that it's time to hang up your spurs.
5. Player Dissension
Rick Adelman has long been known to be a "player's coach."
He might bark every once in a while, but players have historically respected him as a coach.
On Feb. 5, starting point guard Aaron Brooks walked off the court in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Brooks, who had become increasingly frustrated with his role on the team, was one of the few players that has openly disrespected Adelman.
His actions drew a one-game suspension by the team, and could have been a part of Adelman thinking his time as a coach had come to a close, similar to the Jerry Sloan-Deron Williams fiasco.
4. This Season Marks a Historic Changing of the Guards
This season marks a historic period in basketball, in that three possible Hall of Fame coaches could be retired at season's end.
One coach, Utah's Jerry Sloan, already has left the game.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson is expected to retire after the season.
And now Adelman is contemplating retirement.
Appears as good a year as any to retire among some of the all-time greats.
3. It's Simply His Time
When you've been around the league for 43 years (Adelman was selected in the 1968 NBA Draft by the San Diego Rockets), things can start to wear on you a bit.
When you've been coaching for 20 years, that wear and tear can become accelerated.
Adelman has been around for ages, and it simply appears to be time for him to ride off into the sunset.
Better to go out with dignity than flounder for a few more years.
Adelman was quoted by the Houston Chronicle as saying, "I think you think about it (retirement) when you get to this many years in the league."
2. Adelman Can't Stand Missing Out on the Playoffs
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When you're as dedicated to coaching as Rick Adelman is, missing out on the playoffs can be borderline devastating.
Adelman has only missed the playoffs three times in the 18 seasons he's coached at least half of the team's games—probably four after this year.
But he certainly takes it hard.
Via the Houston Chronicle:
"Sometimes people make light of (the playoffs), but I wasn't there for three years, and this year would make four, and it's no fun," he said. "It's all the people around the whole team, the organization, that suffer when you don't get there and you're used to getting there."
1. Adelman's Quest For a Ring Appears Out Of Reach
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You can only go after a championship ring for so long.
Players have done it. Coaches have done it.
In a world where championships mean so much to legacies in the eyes of many, chasing that elusive ring can be maddening.
But there also must be a time to call it quits, when that ring is realistically out of reach given the situation.
Adelman finds himself in that situation now, with Yao Ming possibly gone for good and no superstar in sight.
There comes a time when you have to be proud of what you've done, like Jerry Sloan has, and move on.
Championships can help distinguish careers, but they don't define them.
If Adelman decides to call it quits, he will go down as one of the greats to coach this game, regardless of the number of rings on his fingers.