When the Lakers hired Mike Brown, the immediate response, outside of “Oh, good grief” and “Really?Really?!” was “Wait, what happened to Adelman?” Rick Adelman was a perfect fit for the Lakers. A similar offensive system to the triangle, a coach that could work both sides of the ball, a veteran ego-manager who could both coach up role players and understand when to get out of the star’s way. It was perfect. So why didn’t he get the job? Well, outside of Jim Buss’ cute little power play, the reason may have been that Adelman’s not really looking to coach again. Instead, he sounds more and more like he’s ready to follow Pat Riley and move upstairs where the chairs are comfier, the nights are shorter and the pay’s just as good.
From the Portland Tribune:
“I’m looking to do something different, with not quite the stress the coaching aspect has.
If someone calls, I’ll look at the situation, but I don’t know if I want to do the coaching thing again.”
via Adelman would have interest in Blazer GM job.
Adelman’s an intriguing choice for a front-office official with the experience he has coaching. But losing him as a coach would be a real shame after such a stellar career without a ring. At the same time, Adelman’s definitely earned getting off the road and being able to kick back and just scout college kids for a while. Adelman says in the interview the Lakers “thing” was interesting, which still makes you wonder why he didn’t get the gig. But if he’s this ambivalent about continuing his coaching future and so certain about wanting more of a front-office role it would make sense why the Lakers wouldn’t want him. They’ve got enough forces grabbing for power there.
UPDATE 3:24 pm: Well, that didn’t take long. The two sides have come to an agreement in principle and Kevin McHale is your new coach of the Houston Rockets.
This is reportedly a four year deal with a team option for the last year. This is a Rockets roster in flux, it will be interesting to see what it looks like in four years and how (or if) McHale can mold that lineup.
12:55 pm: Kevin McHale badly wanted another chance to prove himself as an NBA head coach. Looks like he is going to get it.
The Rockets have offered their head coaching job to Kevin McHale, according to multiple sources, including the Houston Chronicle (Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo had it first). They still have to negotiate terms but both sides want this so expect it to get done.
McHale beat out Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey and Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank — both former NBA head coaches — for the job.
McHale has an unimpressive 39-55 record in two half-seasons with the Wolves, but that is without context. In both cases he stepped in midseason for a fired coach (Flip Saunders and Randy Whitman) and in both cases the team played better under him than it did his predecessor.
McHale is a legendary Celtics forward with a nice collection of rings. He should be great at molding a young, talented big man — too bad the Rockets don’t have one of those.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey was looking for a guy for the long term, to rebuild with as the coach. This older generation player is an interesting choice.
The Rockets are going to offer their head-coaching job maybe as soon as Friday to… someone.
Friday is the deadline but there is still the little question of deciding who should actually get that offer, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports.
“The next step is to make a decision,” a person with knowledge of the process told CBSSports.com Thursday….
A second person familiar with the process told CBSSports.com Thursday night that the Rockets are expected to extend a formal offer to their top choice as early as Friday.
It looks like it will be Kevin McHale — the legendary player, former Timberwolves coach and current TNT analyst — or Dwyane Casey, another former Timberwolves head man who is currently busy as a Dallas assistant coach.
Lawrence Frank had been part of the second round of interviews but has faded from the picture, according to multiple reports. Frank still is in the running for the job in Golden State.
It sounds like the Rockets may have had a self-imposed deadline and have reached it, and that everyone now just needs to agree on a party.
Yahoo! Sports reports that former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Mark Jackson interviewed for the head coaching position for the Golden State Warriors shortly after Keith Smart was let go. Jackson may get another interview, though Mike Brown remains the leading candidate.
Jackson’s experience in… broadcasting certainly makes him an attractive candidate considering how he’s never been an assistant coach past his playing days and how often that works out well. Wait, no, that’s not right.
Jackson’s chances are pretty slim considering the number of experienced coaches with head coaching work, not just assistant coaching work on the market. There are a number of capable candidates available, so Jackson’s unlikely to land the gig.
However, in the spirit of exploration, here’s a list of possible techniques used by Jackson on the Warriors were he to get the job:
- Handcuffing Andris Biedrins to the rim in an effort to make sure he knows he can not leave that area.
- Teaching the Warriors, a systemic and personnel disaster defensively, to be an elite defense by saying “That’s just terrible defense” over and over again, without any adjustments or suggestions for improvement.
- Celebrating every Monta Ellis pull-up jumper by screaming “Great players make great plays!” followed by some sort of pun.
- When Stephen Curry expresses consternation at defending experience veterans, Jackson will simply repeat “Hand down, man down” at every turn, eventually driving Curry into a mental institute.
- Responding to every off-court issue by shaking his head and saying “You’re better than that.” No fine, no counseling, just a catchphrase and a head shake.
Maybe Jackson will go the Vinny Del Negro route and surprise everyone despite his lack of experience. After all, Del Negro made the playoffs his first two years with the Bulls and managed to get the Clippers to be at least watchable again. Granted, everyone thinks Del Negro is a terrible coach with a two-year shelf life, but hey, non-playoff results are non-playoff results.
But with so many respected coaches, it’s hard to see MJax jumping to the front of the line.
The Los Angeles Times reports Friday night that the Lakers have reached out to Rick Adelman about their vacant coaching position in the wake of Phil Jackson’s imminent and assumed retirement. The move comes after word broke last week regarding the Lakers’ interest in Adelman. There’s no indication at the moment if the interest is mutual.
The Times also confirms that the Lakers are “adamantly opposed” to any price that would be attached to pursuing a current head coach in the league, ruling out former assistant Kurt Rambis, former player Byron Scott, and Nate McMillan from consideration.
Adelman makes the most sense for the Lakers. He’s the highest profile coach on the market outside of Jerry Sloan, who the Lakers could not survive in terms of discipline (nor could Sloan survive the L.A. drama), and Adelman’s long-standing experience and reputation for working with veterans would fit well with the current roster of Laker championship-caliber players. His offense is at least vaguely reminiscent of the Triangle, and he doesn’t come with any flaming red flags to throw a spike in the gears.
For fans of Adelman from his time in Portland, Sacramento, and Houston, Adelman joining and/or winning a ring with the Lakers would be a severe twist of the knife after years of watching him battle the higher-paying, bigger market behemoth and lose time and time again. But Adelman surely deserves a shot at a championship roster, and this provides him his best chance at winning a title before his ride into the sunset down the road. It seems like a perfect fit. The only question left is if Lakers’ management will be willing to pony up what it takes to secure his services and if Adelman has any interest in nice weather, palm trees and lots and lots of money.
The Times reports that the Lakers are not expected to rush the decision, with the final call possibly not coming until June. Assistant coach Brian Shaw remains on the list of candidates despite his possible interviews with Golden State and elsewhere. The drama continues in Hollywood.