Maybe Rick Adelman will decide that he can’t spend more time away from his ailing wife, that winters spent in airports and hotels can’t work in this new version of his life, but the Minnesota Timberwolves owe it to themselves and their illogically loyal fans to persuade him to stay. Adelman is the Wolves’ symbol of NBA relevance, a likely Hall of Fame coach who allows Minnesotans to imagine better days are ahead. Without him, the franchise will again be adrift and untethered, subject to the whims of the incompetent. The owner, Glen Taylor, may sell. The personnel boss, David Kahn, may be cast off. The star, Kevin Love, spent much of this season displaying little interest in what should be his team. The key roster upgrade, Chase Budinger, may not return. Just six months ago, the Wolves looked like a playoff team, like a team with a future. Now, after yet another year of injuries and bad karma, they look like the same star-crossed franchise that has failed to win a playoff series in 23 of its 24 years of existence. Lose Adelman, and Budinger may not re-sign. Lose Adelman, and Andrei Kirilenko may have had enough of the NBA, and Alexey Shved loses his mentor. Lose Adelman, and the Wolves’ primary connection to NBA credibility becomes just another former employee with bad memories. Taylor and Kahn have made one good joint decision, and it was coaxing Adelman from retirement. My information is that Adelman accepted the job only upon the condition that he be given the final say in personnel decisions, relegating Kahn to the role of ambassador and gofer. Kahn did, it must be said, do well in persuading Adelman to take the job, and Ricky Rubio to leave Spain for our beautiful tundra. What are the odds of Taylor, perhaps with Kahn’s input, making another quality coaching hire? What are the odds of another revered coach wanting the job? About the same as Wolves fans enjoying the Warriors-Nuggets series, with Steph Curry starring for one team and Ty Lawson for the other. Adelman is the key domino in the Wolves’ future, and we all know how dominos fall at Target Center. They don’t just topple other dominos; they crush hope.
Wolves can't afford to let Adelman leave
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Apr 21