Houston and the ghost of Kings past.
Amidst all the relocation talk, the game of basketball has almost been lost in Sacramento. Tonight, the Kings welcomed back Kevin Martin, Brad Miller and former head coach Rick Adelman. Adelman won 395 games as the coach of the Sacramento Kings between 1998-2006, but tonight he was going for his 935th career victory, a mark that would tie him for number ten all-time with another ex-Kings coach, Dick Motta. Adelman and his Rockets took the Kings to the wood shed, blowing out the home team during a 30-16 third quarter, allowing Coach Adelman to reach the milestone at one of his homes away from home.
Before the game I asked current Kings coach Paul Westphal about Adelman’s impending accomplishment:
Rick’s had a terrific career. His teams have always played hard and played together. He’s really easy to live with. He understands that the game is about the players, and they need direction. He directions them and gets out of the way. He’s a real pro and somebody that I think coaches coming into this league could really emulate for his approach.
Adelman led the Kings to the playoffs in all eight of his seasons in Sacramento, including the heart breaking loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games during the 2002 Western Conference finals. In the five seasons since Rick Adelman left Sacramento, the team is just 128-260 and on it’s fourth coach.
Next up on the list of all-time coaching victories is the legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach at 938, followed by Bill Fitch at 944 which Adelman might be able to over take by seasons end.
In his pre-game press conference, Coach Adelman was asked about the possibility of Sacramento losing the Kings and he had this to say:
It’s very sad. The people have supported this team. We had some great years here. It’s the only thing going as far as professional sports in Sacramento and they’ve (the fans) been so great and I just can’t imagine the team leaving because getting anything back is not very good. It’s just very sad for me because we had some great years here, good memories and I hate to see the fans and the people of the City of Sacramento lose this team.
Sad indeed. Thanks for an amazing eight years here in Sacramento Coach Adelman and congratulations on joining some pretty elite company in the top ten.