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.
And that same issue may cause him to retire and walk away from coaching after the season, reports Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, on Sulia.
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.