1-on-1 with David Kahn



Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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WOLVES HIRE RICK ADELMAN

PODCAST: SI.COM'S SAM AMICK ON RICK ADELMAN
PODCAST: JEROME KERSEY ON RICK ADELMAN
FEATURE: ADELMAN'S WINNING FORMULA
Jonah Ballow: Welcome to Timberwolves.com, I'm Jonah Ballow here with President of Basketball Operations, David Kahn and David thank you so much for joining me today. We are going to discuss the new hire, Rick Adelman as the franchise's 10th head coach in history. A great day for Timberwolves fans - I think they were really excited about the hire. Can you talk about the process from when you started looking at a new head coach and why Rick was the best choice for this team?

David Kahn: Well, we brought in seven different candidates to interview, all of whom had previous head coaching experience and in multiple head coaching stops, like Rick. I think everybody knows the list, but to review: Bernie Bickerstaff, Don Nelson, Larry Brown, Rick (Adelman), Mike Woodson, Terry Porter and Sam Mitchell. I thought that all of the interviews in their own way - each candidate had his strengths and weaknesses, but I thought all of them - we really appreciated them coming in and I think that it was a good day in everyone that we did. The process was slowed a couple times - once because one of the candidates had a death in his family and we had to postpone some meetings, and then at the end Glen Taylor, our owner, had some very minor health concerns and we had to postpone Rick's initial meeting - became almost a two-part meeting. He wasn't able to meet Glen in the first meeting. After doing that we talked internally. I didn't talk to Glen at all about my observations and he didn't share any of his observations until we were done with all seven. We felt, especially after canvassing some of the people that had been in the interviews that Rick was head and shoulders above the rest - not because anybody else did poorly or failed, but that given Rick's track record, the way he interviewed, his enthusiasm for the job, which I think grew throughout the summertime to the point where it grew enormously to the point where you could detect that he very much wanted this position. We felt very comfortable in making him the offer.

Jonah Ballow: It seemed that Rick was going to take a season off to maybe take a break from the game a little bit, but now he's back in the fold as a head coach. What do you think were some of those factors in deciding to not skip a season and get right back into coaching?

David Kahn: Well, I think he should be the one who best addresses it, but I'll just say, I think that he had some family events - weddings that were big, big things for his family this summer, and I think that just the feeling of coming off a four-year run with the Rockets, moving back to Portland and then all of a sudden the phone ringing again. I think the Lakers called and then we showed our interest. I think that it was just a little bit overwhelming from time to time, so it was just a matter I think for us to exhibit some patience and make certain that he understood we weren't in any rush if it meant having him interview, which I thought was a very important step to the process.

Jonah Ballow: You discussed some of the criteria for a head coach at your press conference talking about the style of game, the pace of play, defense as well, obviously winning games and some experience as well. He certainly meets all that criteria, so when you look at Rick Adelman and what he brings to the table can you also explain what you're excited about when he steps onto the floor next year?

David Kahn: Well, I think that first of all you start with his track record, which is really phenomenal - to win almost 61 percent of his games every time he's coached in our league is very difficult. It's a top 10 winning percentage and a top 10 number of wins, so I think that for me at least and I hope our whole franchise there's almost a sense of peace that we know we have somebody who has demonstrated time and again with many different types of teams. You know, even in Houston various types of teams within that franchise in terms of the injuries that they had. He has the ability to put it together and I think that's what we most need - is somebody who has the ability to now put this together, and certainly his style of play matches exactly with what I was seeking. His teams are much better defensively than people give him credit for. A lot of times people tend to think if you're letting the other team score a lot of points, ergo you're not good defensively, and that's not the case at all. His teams in Sacramento, which really had few good individual defenders, and maybe even some poor individual defenders, were very sound defensively and I think that in a couple of cases, couple of seasons finished in the top five defensively. So, he really did hit every box and I think that his style and demeanor will serve our young roster well.

Jonah Ballow: What about the fact that Rick has seemed to really have success early when he begins that coaching career with the team? Portland he turned them around quickly with a talented roster, but he was able to get them over that kind of step towards the Finals, then also in Sacramento as well and even Houston to some extent. The turnaround is quick. He seems to get a hold of his players to fit the style that works for them and then you see some success early.

David Kahn: We examined that and so that was one of the attractive pieces about his background that you know you kind of sat up. There really only was one other candidate that had that kind of track record of almost instantaneous turnaround, and I think that's a part of why he actually wanted this job is he also detected that there was a lot of talent on the roster that just needed a chance to blossom and I think he feels that he's the right person to do that. I think, I'm hopeful that track record of seeing quick turnarounds or quick improvement will also be seen here.

Jonah Ballow: Great stuff. Well, tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm Timberwolves fans are going to get to meet the new head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves - 945 career wins for Rick Adelman. A terrific career and now he will be in Minnesota. Remember 1:00pm tomorrow on Timberwolves.com for the live stream - this is the President of Basketball Operations, David Kahn. Thank you so much for joining us right here on Timberwolves.com.
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