MINNEAPOLIS -- Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has decided to retire after 23 seasons in the NBA. He will continue working for the franchise in a consulting role, the team announced.
Adelman says he'll move back to Portland to spend time with family. Says his grand kids are be there and will keep him busy #Twolves- Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) April 21, 2014
The decision brings to an end to a celebrated coaching career that includes 1,042 victories, eighth on the NBA's career list. Adelman coached Western Conference powers in Portland and Sacramento and also had stops in Golden State and Houston. He just completed the third season of a four-year deal with Minnesota that he signed in 2011. There was a mutual option for the final year of the deal.
"I think it's time for me to step aside," Adelman said. "When I came here, we really tried to see if we could turn some things around and we made some strides. Not as much as we would have liked, but I think it's time for me to step aside and let someone else come in with this group. We're not that far away.
"I really enjoyed my time here. I thank [owner] Glen [Taylor] so much. He's the best owner I've ever been around. Not only as an owner, but as a person and everything. It's been an enjoyable experience, but I'm ready and my wife's ready to move on to another phase. We're looking forward to that."
ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported in March that Minnesota would have Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg -- a former Wolves player and executive -- and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo (who's close to president Flip Saunders) high on their list of potential successors.
Sources told ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman that Izzo is intrigued by the opening.
The possibility also remains that Saunders -- who is the last coach to take the Wolves to the playoffs, way back in 2004 -- will add coaching to his executive duties. After stints coaching in Detroit and Washington, Saunders returned to the Wolves' organization this past May as president of basketball operations and minority owner.
Also emerging as a target in the search is Billy Donovan. NBA coaching sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves have Donovan prominent in their thoughts as they compile a list of potential successors.
After missing the playoffs for the third straight season, and with a wife who is being treated for seizure disorders, Adelman decided it was time to walk away from one of the most quietly influential coaching careers in NBA history.
"On behalf of the Minnesota Timberwolves, I would like to thank Rick for all he has done for our organization," said Taylor. "Under Rick's leadership, our team has improved each of the past three seasons. It has been a pleasure getting to know Rick and his wife Mary Kay, and I wish them the best in retirement."
The introverted coach never received his due while working below the radar for most of his career, but his impact on the league as an offensive innovator is unquestioned.
"I think every coach in this league has taken some of his concepts," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "You can see every team has part of his corner series as part of their offense."