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NBA PM: The Adelman Dilemma
Posted By Bill Ingram On August 24, 2011 @ 5:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | 1 Comment
The make or break decision of David Kahn’s time at the helm of the Minnesota Timberwolves is hanging in the balance today as news out of Minnesota suggests that former Houston Rockets head coach Rick Adelman left meetings with the team without coming to terms on a contract.
Disgruntled fans of the long-suffering Timberwolves have had little to get excited about during their team’s search for a new head coach. Everyone knew the team would be forced to fire Kurt Rambis after a miserably disappointing 2010-11, but the team waited to make that decision until long after most of the available head coaches had signed with other teams. Next they started throwing around names like Sam Mitchell, Terry Porter, Don Nelson and Larry Brown, names that made Timberwolves fans want to throw themselves off a very tall building. Now, it seems money may be the only issue standing between Adelman and the team.
The first interview between Kahn and Adelman took place over the phone, which seemed a pretty clear indication that Adelman wasn’t interested. The long-time coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets wanted a big payday, yes, but he also wanted to know that he would be building a contender in the near future. He has plenty of wins to show for his career, but would really like to add a championship to his Hall of Fame résumé. The Timberwolves have some nice young pieces, but they’re years away from contending.
Still, something about the team sparked Adelman’s interest, at least enough to show up for the second interview in person. Perhaps it’s that, unlike the Houston Rockets teams Adelman coached, the Timberwolves have had relatively few injuries. The issue in Minnesota has been lack of experience, as much as anything else, rather than the simple lack of healthy bodies in Houston. The idea of coaching a young, healthy team has to be attractive to Adelman, as does the fact that expectations in Minnesota are subdued, to say the least. In Houston the fan base expected to see their team rise to the level of contender every year; in Minnesota the fans would be happy just to scratch .500 some time in the next two seasons.
There is no doubt that Adelman is the right man for the job in Minnesota. His knack for getting the most out of his players and developing young talent has become legendary, and there’s little reason to question his ability to help the Timberwolves return to respectability. Unfortunately, money is also tight in Minnesota, and that may be the issue that keeps the team from landing the coach they need.
It might also result in a coaching hire that ends David Kahn’s tenure as the president of the team.
Kanter Not Ready?
The NBA draft has become something of a craps shoot, an issue that is at the heart of some of the ongoing negotiations between the NBA’s players and owners. While teams could do a better job of scouting the players they ultimately choose in the draft, to a certain extend it’s hard to know what a player will become a few years down the line. It’s why owners are saying they would really like to raise the age limit for candidates entering the draft, an issue the players say they’re unwilling to broach. For more on the age limit debate, link here!
That issue has reared its ugly head in today’s headlines, which include concerns from Enes Kanter’s Turkish coaches that he’s not ready to jump to the NBA.
“All the coaching staff and people around basketball think that it is too early for him to go there (to the NBA),” Nihat Izic, an assistant head coach of the Turkey National Team told Beyond the Beat’s Wendell Maxey. “He has the chance to play in the Euro League and then after that, when you feel you are ready, then you go to the NBA. He decided to go, and I’m not sure who gave him that advice. I don’t want to go there.
“I was sad when he went to the United States, but they put in the newspaper that we (Turkey) were against him going to the NBA or something like that,” Izic continued. “But in Turkey, we are very proud when one of our players succeeds and just doesn’t go there to sit on the bench and they become the star on any team they go to.”
Welcome to the modern NBA draft, where fans who used to cheer as soon as their team’s selection was announced are now sitting around scratching their heads wondering if the pick was a good one or not. They eagerly watch summer league to try and get an indication, but often don’t know for several seasons whether or not a draft pick is actually going to work out in their team’s favor.
The Utah Jazz made Kanter the third overall pick despite the fact that he hasn’t had any serious competitive experience in two seasons and is best known in America for his failure to play at the University of Kentucky (due to a financial disqualification).
Will Kanter turn out to be a brilliant pick, a foundational player who helps the Jazz bridge the gap between the Jerry Sloan era and the Ty Corbin era? Hard to say. One thing’s for sure, he is representative of something that’s wrong with the current NBA draft, and that’s something that has to be addressed in the process of forming a new collective bargaining agreement.
Collateral Damage in CBA Battle
The front lines of the battle between the NBA’s owners and players in the ongoing collective bargaining agreement disagreement is about whether or not the 2011-12 NBA season will start on time . . .or at all. That, however, is just one small part of the issue facing the communities around the NBA’s teams. One such issue is coming to a head in San Antonio, where the Spurs organization is facing some tough decisions about when and if they should spend the $75 million they received from a recent bond election.
In 2007, voters in Bexar (pronounced “Bear”) County, where the Spurs play, elected to give the team $75 million for improvements in and around AT&T Center, a building that is actually owned by the county. The Spurs agreed to spend an additional $15 million themselves as part of the improvement effort, but are now bring encouraged by county officials to hold off on spending any of the money until the NBA lockout is near an end.
David Marquez, the county’s director of economic development, said Tuesday that it would be unrealistic not to expect “significant negative effects” on the team’s business operation if some or all of the upcoming season is canceled because of the ongoing impasse.
He said the county is concerned about its “very good tenant” and is exploring ways it might assist the team get over the financial hurdle should some or all of the season be canceled.
Marquez said that after recent meetings with Spurs officials, he asked them to “determine if the plan they had drawn up five years ago on (how the Spurs would spend) the $75 million in bond money remains on the same track.”
A Spurs spokeswoman declined to comment on any aspect of the team’s ongoing talks with the county, citing a lockout-related gag order imposed by NBA Commissioner David Stern.
NBA fans are primarily concerned about the sports aspect of the NBA lockout, but there are other issues that could soon come more to the forefront. A lockout won’t just affect the teams and the players, there are entire communities that could be torn apart by the loss of the industry that surrounds the business side of the NBA world. This is just one example of what is sure to be widespread economic upheaval if the owners and players can’t find common ground soon.
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