Minneapolis, MN, United States (4E Sports) – The Minnesota Timberwolves will conduct an extensive search for their next head coach after Rick Adelman announced his retirement after 1,402 NBA career coaching victories.
Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said he will start the search after consulting with owner Glen Taylor.
“We’re going to look in a lot of different areas,” Saunders said.
Saunders also refused to rule himself out as a candidate, paraphrasing what Adelman said at his retirement news conference about coaching again.
“I’m not going to answer that,” Saunders said when asked if he could do both jobs. “Rick said that you never know.”
Saunders, who has won 638 NBA games as coach, said he’s seeking someone who will bring an offensive identity to the team like Adelman did and someone with “a track record” but didn’t say that necessarily means NBA head-coaching experience.
Possible candidates include Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, television analyst Jeff Van Gundy, George Karl, Lionel Hollins, Stan Van Gundy, Sam Mitchell and former New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson.
It was also reported that the Wolves have interest in Florida coach Billy Donovan.
Saunders said during a press conference Monday morning that Adelman would remain with the team as a consultant.
“I think it’s time for me to step aside and have someone else come in,” Adelman said. “It’s not that far away. … I think there are a lot of great pieces on this team. I wish I could have done more but I truly enjoyed my time.”
Adelman’s team finished the season with a 40-42, easily the franchise’s best in nearly a decade — since the 2004-05 team went 44-38 — but still nine games out of the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.
Promoted from a NBA assistant to Portland’s head coach in February 1989, Adelman coached the Trail Blazers, Golden State, Sacramento, Houston and the Wolves in a career that now is bound for the Basketball Hall of Fame.
At age 67, he retires eighth on the NBA’s all-time list for coaching victories, behind only all-time leader Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, Jerry Sloan, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, George Karl and Larry Brown.