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by user Leftyloon
Last night I stayed up late to watch my favorite NBA coach engineer an 18-point shellacking of the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs to even their playoff series at 2 games apiece. I came to the conclusion that Rick Adelman has to be the most underappreciated coaches in the NBA. Here are some of his accomplishments:
He coached the Portland Trailblazers from 1989-1994, leading them to the playoffs all 6 seasons. They had winning records in 5 of those seasons. His teams made two NBA Finals (1990 and 1992) losing to the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls. Following his dismissal after the 1994 season, the Portland Trailblazers would not win a playoff series until 1999. After a year of respite, he took over the Golden State Warriors top position in 1996. The Warrior were coming off a 26-win season and under his guidance, the team improved by 10 wins. In 1997, the Warriors could only manage 30 wins and Adelman was given the boot after only 2 seasons on the job. The Warriors would not reach 30 wins again until 2003. After another year away from the game, Adelman was handed the keys to the Sacramento Kings in 1999. The Kings were a moribound franchise that had not posted a winning record since 1983. Amazingly, in Adelman's first year the Kings won 27 games in the strike-shortened 1999 season (50 games). The year before they had won 27 games over the course of the full 82-game season. In his 8 years at the helm, Sacramento has made the playoffs every season. They advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 2002 where they fell to the Los Angeles Lakers thanks to Robert Horry's heroics on memorial day. Here's a link to the incredible shot.
In 2003 and 2004 they were beaten in the Western Conference Semi-Finals in 7 games by the Dallas Mavericks (after Chris Webber was injured) and Minnesota Timberwolves. I don't expect the 8th seed Kings to knock off the Spurs, but I thought after last night's game, it was a good time to give my man Rick Adelman his due.
Mon 05/01/06, 7:39 am EST