MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves have persuaded Rick Adelman to listen to their pitch for the head coaching job after all.
Two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Adelman arrived in the Twin Cities on Tuesday to meet with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and president of basketball operations David Kahn.
The two people spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to comment publicly on the search.
The 65-year-old Adelman had a phone conversation with Kahn earlier this summer. The two of them have known each other for years dating back to Kahn's time as columnist at The Oregonian while Adelman was coaching the Portland Trail Blazers.
But Adelman was quoted in The Oregonian as saying that he planned to take next season — if there is a season, of course — off from coaching.
After initially saying he was going to leave the team's coaching situation entirely up to Kahn this offseason, Taylor has taken on a more prominent role in the last few weeks. He was integral in bringing former Timberwolves player Sam Mitchell in for an interview and played a role in persuading Adelman to at least come in for a face-to-face meeting.
The Timberwolves have also interviewed Terry Porter, Mike Woodson, Don Nelson, Larry Brown and Bernie Bickerstaff for the job, but Adelman has been one of their top targets ever since Kurt Rambis was fired in July.
Adelman is 945-616 in 20 seasons as a head coach of the Trail Blazers, Kings, Warriors and Rockets. He parted ways with the Rockets in April, and Houston hired former Timberwolves coach and GM Kevin McHale to take over the team.
Adelman runs the kind of up-tempo, free-flowing offensive system that Kahn has wanted to install in Minnesota ever since he took over in 2009. He also has a good relationship with Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love, who played on the same Oregon high school team as Adelman's son.
He has coached 19 full seasons, leading the Blazers to the NBA finals in 1990 and 1992. He coached the Warriors to back-to-back losing seasons in 1995-96 and '96-97, the only times he has coached a full season and had a team finish with a losing record.
The Timberwolves are coming off an NBA-worst 17-65 season. They have a promising core of young players with Love, No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams, Ricky Rubio, Wes Johnson and Michael Beasley.
But the Wolves have the youngest roster in the league and are lacking the kind of veteran leader in the locker room that can be so helpful to a coach. So it remains unclear if Adelman wants to take on this kind of rebuilding project rather than wait for a job to open with a more veteran roster that may be better equipped to win in the short term.
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