The Houston Rockets added an intriguing name to the wish list of every NBA team with an embattled coach when it was announced yesterday that Rick Adelman would not return.
Adelman took the Portland Trail Blazers to the Finals twice, he coached those fun Sacramento teams in the early 2000s and he did well with the Rockets despite losing star players Tracy McGrady and/or Yao Ming to injury frequently. Adelman has one of the best wining percentages in NBA history and has had at least moderate success in three of his four coaching stops (And as for that fourth one, you can’t really blame the guy for not winning in Golden State. No one wins there.).
Once the fate of John Kuester is finally decided, I will take a more in-depth look at available coaching candidates, but for now I just wanted to put Adelman’s name out there. If Tom Gores wanted to bring a tried-and-true coach, and make a big splash as a new owner, Adelman would be one way to do it.
There are sure to be other coaching names who Pistons fans will tout if Kuester is fired. The always vocal, ‘hire Bill Laimbeer’ sect will ratchet up the intensity as it does every time the Pistons job is open. Those who like to think big and impractically will wonder if Joe Dumars can coax Jerry Sloan out of his semi-retirement. And the terrifying Jeff Van Gundy is still out there assaulting ear drums for ESPN.
But Adelman is a more natural choice for one reason: Greg Monroe. In Sacramento, Adelman coached arguably the two best passing big men of the last 20 years (with apologies to Arvydas Sabonis) in Chris Webber and Vlade Divac. Monroe possesses a rare ability to see the entire court from the high post and there’s little doubt he could thrive in a creative offense that takes advantage of that skill.
The Pistons reportedly have not decided Kuester’s fate yet, and who knows if Adelman even wants to coach here or anywhere next season, but there’s no doubt a coach with Adelman’s track record should be able to command more respect in the locker room than Kuester, Michael Curry or even Flip Saunders did in their years as head coach.
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