User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Adelman and Saunders bond in Minnesota

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - Flip Saunders took over as Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations in May and he has been shaking hands and kissing babies ever since. The social butterfly has met with everyone from his star power forward to those responsible for the music in the arena as he tries to put his fingerprints on the organization.

Advertisement
Rick Adelman has been the coach in Minnesota for more than two years, and there are still plenty of people in the organization who have never spoken to him for more than a minute. It's all basketball, all the time for him, which means there is no time for small talk.

Saunders can most often be seen cloaked in one of his tailored suits, splashing some color with a well-placed pocket square and finishing the look with a tie clip here, a set of cuff links there.

Adelman wears black. All the time. On special occasions he'll accessorize by donning a black sweater vest over his black polo shirt.

The leaders of the Timberwolves live in different worlds socially and sartorially, but they have found common ground where it matters most - on the court.

They are still getting to know each other after Saunders took over for the departed David Kahn. But the connection has been an easy one despite their outward differences. At their cores, they are both coaches and speak the same language.

``There's probably not a day that we talk to each other that we don't talk about some type of X's and O's, some type of offense,'' said Saunders, who is in his first year as a top executive after 16 years as coach of the Wolves, Pistons and Wizards. ``That's just coaches. That's what we do. That's what we enjoy doing and I'm sure we're going to continue to do that.''

When Wolves owner Glen Taylor brought Saunders, who served as Taylor's coach from 1995-2005, back to run the show, there was an immediate concern that Adelman could bristle over having another coach around every day looking over his shoulder. But the 67-year-old Adelman clearly doesn't feel threatened.

``Well if I'm going to worry about that I'm in big trouble,'' Adelman said. ``If I was 35 years old, I might be thinking about that situation a little differently. But for me I want his input even though I'm still going to make the final decision on what goes on with the team. But I want his input and his ideas.''

The two knew each other from crossing paths over the years when their teams met on the court, but Saunders really got off to a good start with Adelman in Minnesota simply by keeping his distance.

Adelman spent much of the summer with doctors who were trying to find the right combinations of medication and treatment to address wife Mary Kay's seizures. The coach said at the end of the season that he wanted to make a decision on returning for this year fairly quickly. But Saunders and Taylor didn't pressure him. They told him to take all the time he needed.

``I've always respected him as a coach,'' Saunders said. ``I thought this team was partly built with him in mind and we finished it with him in mind, the type of team that we wanted.''

The approach went a long way with Adelman, who didn't always feel like he had a symbiotic relationship with the front offices in some of his other stops.

``Their patience made things a lot easier,'' Adelman said. ``Everything was going OK, but I didn't know what to expect the whole summer. We approached it just like we said we were going to do and that made the situation so much easier for me.''

As Adelman tended to his family, Saunders remained in constant contact throughout the summer to discuss players available in free agency, holes that needed to be filled and the philosophy going forward.

``I think he's got such a great understanding of the league and he knows what type of players I wanted, who was out there,'' Adelman said. ``So it was a process and one thing I really enjoyed about it is the fact that if there is anything going on, he was always calling me and he was always asking for my opinion.''

Now that training camp has started, the conversation between the two has shifted from roster assembly to strategy and philosophy. Adelman has likened the relationship to the one he had with Geoff Petrie in Sacramento, an encouraging sign given that Adelman has always looked back fondly at his days with the Kings.

``I think it's going to be great having Flip around and I know he knows the league very well, he knows what it takes to win and he'll add the people he feels can do that,'' Adelman said. ``I think it's going to be a very positive move from my standpoint and I'm looking forward to it.''

But Saunders' biggest task may be to inject some of his influence into Adelman's wardrobe.

``He'll do fine. No one sees him on the (practice) court,'' Saunders said with a chuckle. ``They see him in his suits. He looks OK in his suits.''

---

Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Nelson: Surprises and Disappointments
Lawrence: Zig-Zag Theory
News: Playoff Props posted
Grizz grab 7th seed, beat Dallas in OT
Nets rest starters, lose to Cavaliers
76ers top resting Heat, 100-87
Pacers cruise past Magic, 101-86
Hawks top Bucks, 'over' cashes
Bucks' Kohl reaches deal to sell team
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
7-2 L9 G-Plays, +4,002 This Year
9-1 L10, 16-3 L19, 37-11 Streak
9-3 Last 12 Picks
19-9 L28, +1,870 G-Plays TY
18-9 Last 27 Selections
12-4 L16 Totals, +1,624 Picks TY
11-5 L16 Picks, +2,007 This Year
4-0 L4 G-Plays, +1,586 TY
8-3 L11 G-Plays, 10-3 L13 Totals
+1,573 Totals This Year
6-1 L7 Picks, 10-2 L12 Win Streak
5-1 L6 G-Plays, 6-2 L8 Picks
7-2 L9 Picks, 13-4 L17 G-Plays
3-0 L3 Picks, 4-0 Guarantee Run
6-1 Last 7 Over/Unders
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks
2013 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 4002
Mike Rose + 2007
Paul Bovi + 1717
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 778
ASA + 476
Chip Chirimbes + 468
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 59 %
Chip Chirimbes 58 %
Paul Bovi 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 1870
The Prez + 1413
Paul Bovi + 1318
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Tony Stoffo + 1573
Stephen Nover + 1447
Kyle Hunter + 1045
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 1604
Bruce Marshall + 1498
Chip Chirimbes + 1108
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and recieve access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!