Houston Rockets Have Big Shoes To Fill After Parting Ways With Rick Adelman

April 20, 2011 – 8:15 am by Eric Schmoldt

I suppose I can’t use one radio interview to characterize a person, but if the following one was anything what Rick Adelman had to deal with when talking with Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, I see why there were some differences. Most notably, it’s hard for me to figure out where Daryl Morey thinks his team is based on the following interview.

They ask Morey about the search process going forward and he says the team is in a different place than when they hired Adelman, that at that point they had built a foundation and this time they’re still trying to build that. Then he’s asked if that means the organization is in rebuilding mode and he tries to say it isn’t.

Perhaps that’s a GM looking to avoid the characterization and animosity that sometimes comes with the dreaded words “rebuilding” and “process,” but it’s certainly confusing to me when a guy says they need to build a foundation, but that stranger things have happened than a possibility that the Rockets go all the way next year.

Daryl Morey joined KILT in Houston with Josh Innes and Rich Lord to discuss why the Rockets parted ways with Rick Adelman, if it’s characterized as a dismissal, the difference in their philosophies, how they fill his shoes, if they’ll look at current assistants and whether the team is in rebuilding mode.

On how he and the organization decided to not bring Rick Adelman back:

“Tough, tough set of days. Spoke with Coach Adelman when the season ended … and talked through even if it wasn’t going to work out, I wanted to try to get as much feedback from him on how we can improve and go forward. Obviously we decided to part ways.”

Is it fair to characterize the departure as a dismissal?:

“People can characterize it how they want. At the end of the day, we had a lot of conversations together … and decided it wasn’t the best fit going forward.”

Was a difference in philosophies the main problem going forward?:

“Yeah, obviously there is a different sort of view on certain things. I’ve agreed to sort of keep those conversations private so I’m going to honor that. Obviously there’s a lot that goes into being the head coach of the team. It’s the hardest job, I think, in the organization and he did it very well.”

On how you fill the shoes of a Rick Adelman and if the team has a short list right now:

“We’re going to have a wide process. It’s going to be different than last time. Actually it was similar in many ways in that we’re letting go an extremely good coach. … Last time, though, we had a pretty solid foundation with Tracy [McGrady] and Yao and we were trying to fill out that foundation. We feel like we’re in a different state this time where we’re still trying to build a foundation and we’re looking for a coach that fits that environment. That’s going to be a wider process; it’s not going to be a quick process.”

Will they look at current assistants Elston Turner or Jack Sikma?:

“We’re going to have a wide process and I’ll be speaking to Coach Turner and Coach Sikma over the next few days. … Depending on how the process goes, we would like to keep some continuity as possible.”

Are the Rockets in rebuilding mode again heading into next year?:

“Our focus is to do better that. I think we’ve had the fewest losing seasons since 1980 or something, that was before [owner Leslie Alexander's] tenure. Then over his tenure, I know we’re in the top five in terms of wins. … He’s something that not only asks us to win every night, but he asks us to win every night doing it in a way that sets us up to be a championship contender. … We’re hoping to win more than we did last year.”

Listen to Daryl Morey on KILT in Houston here

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