Rick Adelman

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Rick Adelman
Rick Adelman.png
Adelman in 1970
Personal information
Born (1946-06-16) June 16, 1946 (age 76)
Lynwood, California, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High schoolSt. Pius X (Downey, California)
CollegeLoyola Marymount (1965–1968)
NBA draft1968 / Round: 7 / Pick: 79th overall
Selected by the San Diego Rockets
Playing career1968–1975
PositionPoint guard
Number12, 21, 5
Coaching career1977–2014
Career history
As player:
19681970San Diego Rockets
19701973Portland Trail Blazers
19731974Chicago Bulls
1974–1975New Orleans Jazz
1975Kansas City-Omaha Kings
As coach:
1977–1983Chemeketa CC
19831989Portland Trail Blazers (assistant)
19891994Portland Trail Blazers
19951997Golden State Warriors
19992006Sacramento Kings
20072011Houston Rockets
20112014Minnesota Timberwolves
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

Career playing statistics
Points3,579 (7.7 ppg)
Rebounds1,129 (2.4 rpg)
Assists1,606 (3.5 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Career coaching record
NBA1042–749 (.582)
Basketball Hall of Fame as coach

Richard Leonard Adelman (born June 16, 1946) is an American former professional basketball player and coach. He coached 23 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Adelman served as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves.[1] He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in the class of 2021.[2]

Early life and playing career[edit]

Adelman at Loyola University

Adelman was born in Lynwood, California, the son of Gladys (née Olsen) and Leonard Joseph "L. J." Adelman, who were from North Dakota and worked as teachers and farmers.[3] Adelman began his basketball career in high school at Pius X High School in Downey, CA, then matriculated to collegiate stardom at Loyola University of Los Angeles, now known as Loyola Marymount University.[4] In the 1968 NBA draft, he was selected by the San Diego Rockets (now the Houston Rockets) in the 7th round.[5] He played two seasons in San Diego before being taken by the expansion Trail Blazers in the 1970 expansion draft; he then played three seasons in Portland. He also played for the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans (now Utah) Jazz, and the Kansas City/Omaha (now Sacramento) Kings. He ended his playing career in 1975.

Coaching career[edit]

Chemeketa Community College[edit]

From 1977 through to 1983, Adelman coached at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon.

Portland Trail Blazers[edit]

He was then hired by the Portland Trail Blazers (then coached by Jack Ramsay) as an assistant. When Ramsay was fired and replaced with Mike Schuler in 1986, Adelman was retained; when Schuler was in turn fired during the 1988–89 season, Adelman was promoted to interim coach. After leading the team into the playoffs that year (despite a 39–43 record), Adelman was given the coaching position on a full-time basis in the 1989 off-season.

The next three years were quite successful for Adelman and the Trail Blazers; the team went to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992 (losing to the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls respectively) and went to the Western Conference finals in 1991 (losing to the Los Angeles Lakers). Adelman spent two more years with the team, but was dismissed after the 1993–1994 season.

Golden State Warriors[edit]

In 1995, Adelman was hired as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors. He was unable to duplicate his success in Portland, and was fired after only two years with the team.

Sacramento Kings[edit]

After a year's absence from the sidelines, Adelman was hired by the Sacramento Kings in 1998. Under Adelman's guidance, the Kings were one of the most successful teams in the Western Conference, qualifying for the playoffs every year of his Sacramento career.

During the Kings' 2000 playoff run, they met Phil Jackson's Los Angeles Lakers. Adelman questioned Jackson's motivational techniques when it was learned that Jackson compared Adelman to Adolf Hitler.[6]

In 2002, the Kings made a serious run for the NBA Finals. After clinching the first seed in the competitive Western Conference, the Kings blazed through the opening two rounds but lost to the Lakers in a controversial series with noticeably lopsided officiating in favor of the Lakers.[7]

In 2006, Adelman (in the final year of his contract) led the Kings to the playoffs. Despite the team struggling early in the regular season, the Kings rebounded and qualified for the playoffs as the #8 seed. Although competitive, they were defeated 4–2 by the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. Adelman's contract with the Kings expired at the end of the 2005–2006 season. On May 9, it was reported by the Sacramento Bee that his contract would not be renewed. The Kings have yet to reach the playoffs - or post a winning record - since.

Houston Rockets[edit]

The Houston Rockets brought in Adelman as their new head coach five days after the dismissal of Jeff Van Gundy on May 18, 2007. Van Gundy had taken the Rockets to three playoff appearances in four years with no series victories. In his first season as head coach, Adelman guided the Rockets to a 22-game winning streak from January through March 2008, the third-longest winning streak in NBA history. However, they lost in the first round in six games.

In the 2009 season, the Rockets finished fifth in the West with a 53–29 record. They entered the playoffs without their star shooting guard, Tracy McGrady, due to an injury. Despite this loss, the Rockets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in six games to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals for the first time since 1997. Although they would lose the series to the Los Angeles Lakers, they also proved their resilience by taking the series to seven games despite the loss of star center Yao Ming in Game 3 of that series.

Adelman won his 800th career game, 13th among coaches in NBA history, on March 24, 2008, against the Sacramento Kings.[8]

On April 18, 2011, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Rockets would not give Adelman a new contract; Adelman and the team parted ways after four seasons and two playoff appearances.[9]

Minnesota Timberwolves[edit]

On September 13, 2011, the Minnesota Timberwolves confirmed the hiring of Adelman as their new coach.[10]

On April 6, 2013, Adelman won his 1,000th career game with a victory over the Detroit Pistons, becoming just the eighth coach in NBA history ever to do so.[11]

On April 21, 2014, Adelman announced his retirement from coaching in the NBA. It was also announced that he would stay with the Timberwolves as a consultant.[1] Adelman ranks ninth in terms of games coached and games won. He went 79–78 (.503) in playoff games and advanced to the NBA Finals twice, both times with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1990 and 1992 where they lost to the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls.

Head coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Portland 1988–89 35 14 21 .400 5th in Pacific 3 0 3 .000 Lost in First Round
Portland 1989–90 82 59 23 .720 2nd in Pacific 21 12 9 .571 Lost in NBA Finals
Portland 1990–91 82 63 19 .768 1st in Pacific 16 9 7 .563 Lost in Conf. Finals
Portland 1991–92 82 57 25 .695 1st in Pacific 21 13 8 .619 Lost in NBA Finals
Portland 1992–93 82 51 31 .622 3rd in Pacific 4 1 3 .250 Lost in First Round
Portland 1993–94 82 47 35 .573 4th in Pacific 4 1 3 .250 Lost in First Round
Golden State 1995–96 82 36 46 .439 6th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Golden State 1996–97 82 30 52 .366 7th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Sacramento 1998–99 50 27 23 .540 3rd in Pacific 5 2 3 .400 Lost in First Round
Sacramento 1999–00 82 44 38 .537 5th in Pacific 5 2 3 .400 Lost in First Round
Sacramento 2000–01 82 55 27 .671 2nd in Pacific 8 3 5 .375 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Sacramento 2001–02 82 61 21 .744 1st in Pacific 16 10 6 .625 Lost in Conf. Finals
Sacramento 2002–03 82 59 23 .720 1st in Pacific 12 7 5 .583 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Sacramento 2003–04 82 55 27 .671 2nd in Pacific 12 7 5 .583 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Sacramento 2004–05 82 50 32 .610 2nd in Pacific 5 1 4 .200 Lost in First Round
Sacramento 2005–06 82 44 38 .537 4th in Pacific 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
Houston 2007–08 82 55 27 .671 3rd in Southwest 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
Houston 2008–09 82 53 29 .654 2nd in Southwest 13 7 6 .538 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Houston 2009–10 82 42 40 .512 3rd in Southwest Missed Playoffs
Houston 2010–11 82 43 39 .524 5th in Southwest Missed Playoffs
Minnesota 2011–12 66 26 40 .394 5th in Northwest Missed Playoffs
Minnesota 2012–13 82 31 51 .378 5th in Northwest Missed Playoffs
Minnesota 2013–14 82 40 42 .488 3rd in Northwest Missed Playoffs
Career 1,791 1,042 749 .582 157 79 78 .503

Personal life[edit]

Adelman's son David Adelman is a professional basketball coach.


  1. ^ a b Rick Adelman to announce retirement ESPN.com
  2. ^ "Kings Legends Chris Webber, Rick Adelman Headline Electees into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame".
  3. ^ The Long, Hot Winter: A Year in the Life of the Portland Trail Blazers - Rick Adelman, Dwight Jaynes - Google Books
  4. ^ "Richard Leonard Adelman". Basketball-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  5. ^ "Richard Leonard Adelman (Rick)". databaseBasketball.com. Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  6. ^ Sports: Veterans keeping Pacers in contention
  7. ^ National Basketball Association criticisms and controversies#2002 Western Conference Finals – Kings vs. Lakers
  8. ^ NBA on Yahoo! Sports - News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games
  9. ^ Windhorst, Brian (April 18, 2011). "Source: Rick Adelman, Rockets split". ESPN. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  10. ^ Proven winner takes challenge Star Tribune.
  11. ^ Pistons vs. Timberwolves - Game Recap - April 6, 2013 - ESPN

External links[edit]