When Rick Adelman reached the milestone of 1,000 wins as an NBA coach recently, his wife, Mary Kay, was there by his side on the court as he spoke. He wanted her there, part of the celebration because she had sacrificed for it, too.
But she is also battling health issues — remember Adelman took time away from the Timberwolves this season to be with her.
Adelman told me March 21 that he will think about walking away unless doctors can diagnose and successfully treat a health issue with his wife. He does not want to start 2013-14 with that unresolved and face the possibility of another leave of absence.
But at least some who know him take it a step further and say retirement is not only a real option, it is likely. One person who has talked with Adelman said that unless the family gets some very good news about Mary Kay, it would be a big surprise if Rick returned.
For the sake of his wife’s health, I hope to see him back on the Minnesota sidelines next season.
If not, you know he will be professional and fair to the organization, giving them a lot of warning. But replacing him will be hard — Adelman is one of the NBA’s handful of elite coaches, a guy who makes a team instantly better when he takes over the helm. Minnesota is poised for a big jump next season (if they can stay healthy) but that leap would be more difficult without Adelman.
Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver
That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.
Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.
What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.
Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.
By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.
Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.
How’s that going?
(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.
Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks
Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.
So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.
“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….
“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.
“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”
Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.
Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.