Maybe you’d forgotten that the Minnesota Timberwolves still don’t have a coach. And why rush, really? The season’s not due to start for two more months, and even then, the lockout will probably hold it off until much later, possibly months. So getting on the ball about a coach isn’t really an urgent matter. But the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports Saturday that the Wolves may have narrowed down their options to a shortlist.
After interviewing six candidates in person, the team is working once again on trying to get former Houston coach Rick Adelman to come to town early next week to meet with David Kahn, Glen Taylor, Rob Moor, minority partners and other personnel.
If he declines, the Wolves then will move ahead with the process and probably choose either Nelson or Mitchell for the job.
via One more candidate?: Wolves still hope to interview Adelman | StarTribune.com.
The Trib also reports that Adelman’s a longshot according to league sources. Adelman has previously shown interest in taking over more of a personnel gig, so taking on a strictly coaching job with a general manager already in place seems kind of unlikely. At the same time, hiring Adelman would present a big step forward for the franchise. Targeting him is a great move for the organization.
If Adelman falls through, the choices are “decent’ and “call your friends who are Wolves fans and tell them to get away from sharp objects.” Sam Mitchell won Coach of the Year, and has a history in Minnesota. He’s a decent pick. Don Nelson would be an unmitigated disaster based on the young personnel they have, their need for improvement on both sides of the ball, and Nelson’s reputation for a lack of discipline.
But at least Wolves fans will know the direction of the team’s future soon.
When Pistons GM Joe Dumars was asked why he moved quickly to bring in new head coach Lawrence Frank in the middle of the lockout, he said that if you want to change the energy of your organization you should not wait.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have gone the other direction. GM David Kahn let former coach Kurt Rambis twist in the wind for a couple months, then when the Wolves finally got around to a coaching search it has been deliberate and methodical. Which is to say slow like a three-toed sloth.
Finally, this week, we may finally have some action, reports Jerry Zgoda at the Star Tribune (via Ball Don’t Lie). He says at least some of the seven candidates who have spoken to Kahn about the job will get their answers this week.
Who? That’s up in the air, the slow process have provided few clues. Zgoda surmises that Bernie Bickerstaff, Don Nelson and Sam Mitchel are the favorites to get the job (owner Glen Taylor may back Mitchel, and owners often get their way). It should be noted those are are three guys who have coached in the NBA before; Minnesota is not going with an untested coach again.
If those three are in it would leave Rick Adelman (who only did a phone interview for the job and doesn’t seem interested), Larry Brown, Mike Woodson and Terry Porter on the outside.
There has not been a formal second round of interviews. And there may not be. The Wolves are doing things their way. We’ll see how that works out for them.
Minnesota has time to take in finding a new coach, what with the lockout and all, so they are using it to interview virtually everyone.
Enter Sam Mitchell, the former Toronto Raptors head coach, who will be the latest to interview for the Timberwolves job, according to Jerry Zgoda at the Star Tribune. It’s not a shock, we reported last week that Wolves GM David Kahn said he wanted to talk to a couple more people.
Mitchell played in Minnesota for a couple stints and in Toronto was the NBA Coach of the Year one season (which means he was cursed and would be fired within a couple years, and he was).
So to update the list of those interviewed: Mike Woodson, Don Nelson, Terry Porter, Bernie Bickerstaff, Larry Brown, and Rick Adelman (although he was just a phone call and seems uninterested in the job). Mitchell is expected to be the last of the first round interviews.
The Wolves have some interesting pieces — Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Michael Beasley — but getting them to fit together in the up-tempo offense Kahn demands, and more importantly getting them to play defense, will be the challenge.