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Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2011

T-Wolves set to name Adelman coach


MINNEAPOLIS — Rick Adelman coached four teams in his first two decades in the NBA, each time taking a year off before starting his next journey.

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Close contest: Russia's Andrei Kirilenko drives past Macedonia's Vlado Ilievski in their second-round game at the European Championship on Monday. Russia won 63-61. AP

He didn't wait nearly as long to take over perhaps his most challenging job yet.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are bringing Adelman in to try and turn around one of the NBA's most downtrodden franchises.

Two people with knowledge of the agreement said on Monday that the team and the 65-year-old Adelman have agreed on terms and a contract is expected to be signed soon. The people requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.

Adelman replaces Kurt Rambis, who lasted just two seasons on the job.

"Houston, we have a coach," All-Star forward Kevin Love tweeted earlier Monday, kicking off the welcoming festivities for an accomplished coach who will be expected to bring credibility and intensity back to a team that has severely lacked both in recent seasons.

Adelman is 945-616 in 20 seasons as a head coach of the Trail Blazers, Kings, Warriors and Rockets. He parted ways with Houston in April and the Rockets brought in former Timberwolves executive and coach Kevin McHale to replace him.

He'll have his work cut out for him at his latest, and perhaps final, stop.

The Timberwolves have won just 32 games over president of basketball operations David Kahn's first two seasons, including an NBA-worst 17-65 record last year.

With the Timberwolves reeling and struggling to draw fans ever since they traded Kevin Garnett to Boston in 2007, Kahn and owner Glen Taylor set out to make a statement after Kahn's drawn-out firing of Rambis drew criticism.

In addition to Adelman, the Wolves interviewed Don Nelson, Sam Mitchell, Bernie Bickerstaff, Mike Woodson, Terry Porter and Larry Brown in the kind of deliberate process that has become the hallmark of Kahn's short tenure.

And even though many around the league expected Adelman to take another year off, wait for the lockout to be resolved and make a run at a team with more veterans who are considered closer to contending for a title, the Wolves managed to convince him to join them.

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