The Minnesota Timberwolves will have a new head coach in 2011 and beyond, that’s if there is even an NBA season. After back-to-back disappointing seasons and a career record of 32-132 Kurt Rambis was fired and the Wolves brought in Rick Adelman to lead a young group of Timberwolves. While the issues in Minnesota still go beyond the guy walking the sidelines, this was a needed change in Minnesota and is a step in the right direction for the franchise. It was also a surprising move. Adelman has an excellent track record and was probbaly the best coaching candidate out there. A guy like Adelman can choose his spot and of all places he decided on Minnesota. It’s a huge get for the Wolves because Adelman brings an outstanding coaching resume, he brings a ton of experience, and he has the kind of attitude needed to handle the many personalities on the young Timberwolves roster.
Rick Adelman joined KFAN in Minneapolis with Dan Barreiro to talk about who convinced him to take the job in Minnesota, why he decided to take the job when he did, if he thought about trying to get a job with a team that is further along that the Wolves, how important it is to manage personalities as a coach in the NBA now, if he has the power in the Timberwolves organization based on his resume.
Who convinced him to take the job in Minnesota:
“I think it was myself more than anything else. Certainly had a lot of discussions with David (Kahn) about it. Had a nice visit with Glen (Taylor) also. I was impressed in that he was very committed, he wanted to turn this thing around, and he was very committed in how he was gonna do that and was very genuine. But it really came down to my wife and I talking about it, looking at my situation and where I am and I just felt maybe this is gonna be a good opportunity to build something. You never know what situation is going to come down later on and even if you think it’s a good situation it can end up being a bad situation. I really thought through it and it really came down to my feeling that this is a great challenge.”
On the idea that he was in a different mindset earlier in the coaching search process:
“I really was mostly because the season just ended and we moved from Houston back to Portland and there were a lot of things going on for us in the summer and it was just too much. That’s probably the biggest thing I had to get through and hurdle over, do I really want to do this? As time went on I just decided it was a good situation.”
On the idea that coaching a team that is further along was not an issue:
“No I didn’t. My feeling in talking to them and everything else and looking at the whole situation I didn’t know what was going to come down with the situation the league is in right now you don’t know how that’s gonna go. Just weighing it in my own mind I thought let’s give this a shot.”
Whether or not managing personalities is a key to being a successful coach nowadays:
“I think it has to an extent. I think once you’ve been in this league for a long time it’s really not rocket science or anything. Everybody is running a lot of the same plays. We’ve ran some things in the past that most of the leagues are running now. That’s not gonna surprise you but you do have to manage the people and get them to respond to you. I would say the number one thing you do need though is you need talent. You need to have people that can take it on the court and do it for you. You have to find a way to reach each guy. Every guy is different. These young guys are all gonna be different and you have to find a way to do that deal with them so they’ll respond. I think for the most part it is dealing with individuals and getting them to buy in.”
Whether or not he is the guy with the most power in the organization:
“I’ve never been labeled that before so I will have to think about that one. I’m not interested in that. I’m more interested in doing the thing the right way. We’re all one. This organization from Glen, to David, to myself, to assistant coaches, we’re all one in this thing and we have to be perceived that way. I’ve said before I can’t be concerned about, I’ve seen coaches so concerned about the personnel they don’t have and they’re not working with the guys they have. That’s my objective is to coach the people I have here and certainly give my input into what I think we need to become better. If that works out that I have some say in that then I think that’s a positive thing.”
On the reports that he had to be talked into taking the coaching gig because of David Kahn:
“It had nothing to do with how the process went. I never talked to Adrian (Wojnarowski) so I don’t know where he got my point of view. He must’ve talked to someone else who told him something. I’ve said this to other people, everybody tells me how tough of a job this is going to be so why would you add to that? David and I had so many conversations about this team certainly no one convinced me because he was there that that happened. That just wasn’t the case. I wouldn’t be here if that was the case. I think we’re gonna be able to work fine together with Glen. Wherever it came from, I don’t know where it came from but it’s certainly not the case.”
Listen to Rick Adelman on KFAN in Minneapolis here (Audio begins 1:35 into the podcast)