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Rick Adelman
Position(s) Guard
Jersey #(s) 5, 12, 21
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Born June 16, 1946 (1946-06-16) (age 63)
Lynwood, California
Career information
Year(s) 1968–1975
NBA Draft 1968 / Round: 7 / Pick: 1

Selected by San Diego Rockets

College Loyola Marymount University
Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA and/or ABA)
Points     3,579
Rebounds     1,129
Assists     1,606
Stats @
Career highlights and awards
  • None

Richard Leonard 'Rick' Adelman (born June 16, 1946) is an American basketball coach and retired player. He is the current head coach of the NBA's Houston Rockets. He was hired five days after the firing of Jeff Van Gundy on May 18, 2007. He has previously served as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Sacramento Kings.


Playing career

Born in Lynwood, California, Adelman began his basketball career as a collegiate star at Loyola University of Los Angeles, now known as Loyola Marymount University. In the 1968 NBA Draft, he was selected by the San Diego Rockets (now the Houston Rockets) in the 7th round. He played two seasons in San Diego before being taken by the expansion Trail Blazers in the 1970 expansion draft; he then played three seasons in Portland. He also played for the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans (now Utah) Jazz, and the Kansas City/Omaha (now Sacramento) Kings. He ended his playing career in 1975.

Coaching career

From 1977 through to 1983, Adelman coached at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon, after which he was hired by the Portland Trail Blazers (then coached by Jack Ramsay) as an assistant. When Ramsay was fired and replaced with Mike Schuler in 1986, Adelman was retained; when Schuler was in turn fired during the 1989 season (when poor team chemistry resulted in the team having a losing record), Adelman was promoted to interim coach. After leading the team into the playoffs that year (despite a 39–43 record), Adelman was given the coaching position on a full-time basis in the 1989 off-season.

The next three years were quite successful for Adelman and the Trail Blazers; the team went to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992 (losing to the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls respectively) and went to the Western Conference finals in 1991 (losing to the Los Angeles Lakers). Adelman spent two more years with the team, but was dismissed after the 1993–1994 season.

In 1995, Adelman was hired as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors. He was unable to duplicate his success in Portland, and was fired after only two years with the team.

After a year's absence from the sidelines, Adelman was hired by the Sacramento Kings in 1998. Under Adelman's guidance, the Kings were one of the most successful Western Conference teams, qualifying for the playoffs during every year of his Sacramento career.

During the Kings' 2000 playoff run, they met Phil Jackson's Los Angeles Lakers. Adelman questioned Jackson's motivational techniques when it was learned that Jackson compared Adelman to Hitler.[1]

In 2006, Adelman (in the final year of his contract) led the Kings to the playoffs. Despite the team struggling early in the regular season, the Kings rebounded and qualified for the playoffs as the #8 seed. Although competitive, they were defeated 4–2 by the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. Adelman's contract with the Kings expired at the end of the 2005–2006 season. On May 9, it was reported by the Sacramento Bee that his contract would not be renewed. The Kings have yet to reach the playoffs since.

Adelman is widely regarded around the league as a "players' coach", and is considered one of the more capable coaches in the NBA. However, he is sometimes criticized for being too hands-off; some NBA observers have suggested that Adelman's teams are not as fundamentally sound as their opponents. Adelman's defenders counter that his teams have often over-achieved: advancing deep into the playoffs without the benefit of a superstar such as a Michael Jordan or Shaquille O'Neal.

Adelman has a long association with Kings' general manager (and fellow ex-Trail Blazer) Geoff Petrie.

The Houston Rockets brought in Rick Adelman as their new head coach, five days after the dismissal of Jeff Van Gundy, on May 18, 2007. Van Gundy had taken the Rockets to three playoff appearances in four years with no series wins. In his first season as head coach, Adelman guided the Rockets to a 22-game winning streak from January through March 2008, the second-longest winning streak in NBA history.

In the 2009 season, the Rockets finished 5th in the West with a 53–29 record. They entered the playoffs without their star shooting guard, Tracy McGrady, due to an injury. Despite this loss, the Rockets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in six games to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals for the first time since 1997. However, they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, but surprised many people and proved their resilience by taking the series to seven games even though their star center, Yao Ming, had a season-ending injury in Game 3 of that series.

Adelman won his 800th career game, 13th among coaches in NBA history, on March 24, 2008 against his old team the Sacramento Kings.[2]

Coaching record

Regular season   G Games coached   W Games won   L Games lost
Post season  PG  Games coached  PW  Games won  PL  Games lost
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL Result
POR 1988–89 35 14 21 .400 5th in Pacific 3 0 3 Lost in First Round
POR 1989–90 82 59 23 .720 2nd in Pacific 21 12 9 Lost in NBA Finals
POR 1990–91 82 63 19 .768 1st in Pacific 16 9 7 Lost in Conf. Finals
POR 1991–92 82 57 25 .695 1st in Pacific 21 13 8 Lost in NBA Finals
POR 1992–93 82 51 31 .622 3rd in Pacific 4 1 3 Lost in First Round
POR 1993–94 82 47 35 .573 4th in Pacific 4 1 3 Lost in First Round
GSW 1995–96 82 36 46 .439 6th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
GSW 1996–97 82 30 52 .366 7th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
SAC 1998–99 * 50 27 23 .540 3rd in Pacific 5 2 3 Lost in First Round
SAC 1999–00 82 44 38 .537 5th in Pacific 5 2 3 Lost in First Round
SAC 2000–01 82 55 27 .671 2nd in Pacific 8 3 5 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
SAC 2001–02 82 61 21 .744 1st in Pacific 16 10 6 Lost in Conf. Finals
SAC 2002–03 82 59 23 .720 1st in Pacific 12 7 5 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
SAC 2003–04 82 55 27 .671 2nd in Pacific 12 7 5 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
SAC 2004–05 82 50 32 .610 2nd in Pacific 5 1 4 Lost in First Round
SAC 2005–06 82 44 38 .537 4th in Pacific 6 2 4 Lost in First Round
HOU 2007–08 82 55 27 .671 3rd in Southwest 6 2 4 Lost in First Round
HOU 2008–09 82 53 29 .654 2nd in Southwest 13 7 6 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Career 1378 847 531 .613 157 79 78
  • Lockout season - only 50 games were played in that regular season


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