Rick Adelman to retire, will stay with Timberwolves as consultan - KMSP-TV

Rick Adelman to retire, will stay with Timberwolves as consultant

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Rick Adelman confirmed with Fox 9 News he will retire after spending 23 seasons as an NBA coach.

Adelman formally announced his retirement at the team's annual season wrap-up on Monday at the Lifetime Fitness Training Center. He said he'll stay with the club as a consultant, and that he wishes he could have done more, expressing sadness, but also relief.


"It’s time for me to step aside," Adelman said. "I think when I came here we really tried to see if we couldn’t turn things around. I think we made some strides. Last year we made some strides. Not as much as we would have liked. But I think it’s time for me to step aside and for someone else to come in and this group and we’ve said it before, it’s not that far away."

Now 67, Adelman has garnered the eighth-most wins in league history, 1,042 in total. In three seasons with the Wolves, his 40 wins this season are the most since the 2004-2005 season -- that's only the ninth time that’s happened in 25 seasons of Wolves basketball.

Read more: Adelman’s coaching legacy

"It’s a real grind," Adelman said on his decision to step down. "You get some time off in the summer but it’s pretty much on your mind all the time, so there’s some sadness but there’s also a relief. I’m ready and my wife’s ready to move on to another phase. We’re looking forward to that.”

His two sons David and R.J. Adelman will return next year -- David Adelman was appointed assistant coach for the 2013-2014 season and R.J. Adelman is the director of player personnel.

President of basketball operations Flip Saunders said the team will utilize Adelman as a sounding board.

"One, Rick’s been in the league a long time. He has a great understanding of the players in the league and I think we’ll use him a lot as a sounding board, whether you talk to him about players, whether you talk to him about, when he’s watching games," Saunders said. "Just little things he can do to help out our team and so I think  it’s one of those things that’s going to evolve. Anyone that has the knowledge Rick has, we’re going to utilize him, there’s no question as much as we can, but still give him the freedom that he wants.”


“Well, when I went down and talked to Glen a few weeks ago I indicated to him that I was leaning that direction. But I told you so many times, I had asked players let’s finish this thing off, let’s don’t give up on this season. I was really, even though I thought that, I really wanted to make that commitment not to do that, even though the whole time you’re kind of looking at it," Adelman said.


Adelman said his team's performance didn't truly make or break his decision to retire. Losing over half of your games wears on a coach, he said. His first year saw a culture change, his second year was fraught with injuries and this most recent season saw too many close losses.

"I just felt for my wife and I, we want to enjoy other things," Adelman said. "We want to have Christmas at home with my other kids. Stuff like that. I’m looking forward to that, certainly I’m going to miss it, there’s not doubt I’ll miss it. The players we had here tried, they tried, we just didn’t have enough this year.”


"You might not think he gets excited but he has a burning passion to win and I think that’s the one thing that I really believe being with him on a daily basis," Saunders said. "You can see when we didn’t perform well that it really ate at him and he was always trying to find a way. What could he do to be better? I don’t really consider Rick a coach, I consider him a teacher.” 


Who will be the new head coach? The rumor mill is still churning – some think Saunders will return to the head coaching position. Saunders replaced Bill Blair as head coach in 1995 and was fired and replaced by then vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale in 2005 after failing to make the playoffs for the first time in 9 years.

“I’ll sit down with Glen [Taylor] and we’ll just talk about characteristics we’re looking for and we’ll take it from there. So I don’t know if there is a timeline right now, this decision was just made, so we’ll kind of take it from there," Saunders said on hiring a new coach.

A few big names in college basketball have been tossed around as well, including former Wolves player, front office member and current Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo. However, it could be a tough sell for a college coach to even consider leaving his program when the return of your team’s All-Star looks questionable. Stan Van Gundy's name has also been tossed into the mix.

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