When Timberwolves Glen Taylor mentioned in an interview for a magazine profile that coach Rick Adelman wanted underachieving center Darko Milicic – “flatlining” would be a usable adjective too – gone from the roster after last season, some corners of the blogosphere lit up.
It was, after all, precisely what the Interwebs were designed for. NBA Owner Reveals Coach Ripping Player. Go with it! Now! Then sit back and count the clicks.
But most of the Wolves-related headlines concerned [GM David] Kahn’s persistent attempts to upgrade the talent on the roster. Behind the scenes, as promised, Adelman was providing input and helping with the decisions.
“Most of the moves David is making are heavily influenced by what Rick has asked of us. But when it comes to finances, David will tell Rick no,” Taylor reveals. “At the end of the year, Rick gives me a report of what he thinks of each player. He tells me it’s the same one he gave David and that David knows he is giving it to me. Then he goes through the list. He says, ‘This is the first one I want gone’—that was [underachieving veteran center] Darko [Milicic]. ‘This is the second one I want gone. This is what I think of this player.’ “
Sensational? Not really. The bigger story would have been Adelman recommending that Milicic – a Range Rover player in need of both an engine and a transmission – be kept around. And no one has bothered to mention that there was a ‘second one’ jettisoned per the Wolves coach’s wishes. He just didn’t come out and name Michael Beasley (guessing) for the writer, Britt Robson.
The greater takeaway here at the Hang Time Hideout is that Adelman has about as much influence as insiders assumed he would when he accepted the job last year. That, at age 66 now, he isn’t about to sit back and let Kahn or anyone else make his life miserable for long with malingerers or malcontents.
And that, try as Taylor might earlier in the story to assure Robson about Kahn’s status and the Wolves’ chain of command, no one really is fooled. If Adelman and Kahn happen to be on the same page at any given time, it likely is in Adelman’s book.