Coach Rick Adelman returns to Timbewolves’ bench
Rick Adelman didn’t return any earlier since he didn’t want to distract the team amid uncertainty over his wife’s condition. But since Mary Kay Adelman has been on a steady path to recovery from an undisclosed illness with no signs of setback, and Rick Adelman thought it was high-time to return to the team.
"It's hard. I've never done this. It's never happened. But there's some things that are more important than basketball or anything else,” Rick Adelman said of his wife’s ailment. “I think the team understands that. Hopefully things will settle down here now."
During Rick Adelman’s absence, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been back and forth between several losing streaks, totaling nine games lost during that period. The piling injuries to key players haven’t helped the case either as the Minnesota Timberwolves had to manage without Nick Pekovic Alexey Shved in the set of latest injuries. Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger and Kevin Love were also sidelined with long-term injuries.
Meanwhile, guard Ricky Rubio has been doing conditioning workouts while recovering from a torn ACL in the left knee.
After starting the season on high expectations of contending for a playoffs spot the Minnesota Timberwolves ran into injuries in over just a month to build a 17-24 record half-way through the season. The Minnesota Timberwolves currently rank 12th in the Western Conference.
During his wife’s illness, Rick Adelman had been in constant communication with his coaching staff and president of basketball operations David Khan, discussing possible moves to patch up an injury stricken roster. But when things got real gloomy in between with the Minnesota Timberwolves trailing in double-digits behind their opponents in losses, Rick Adelman decided to lighten up spirits and motivate them towards winning again.
"Even having him in the practice, it's already a big deal," said Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko of Rick Adelman’s return. "You feel the positive emotions get back. You were feeling down but now you feel everything getting back to normal."
While the Minnesota Timberwolves were struggling through a difficult stretch, Rick Adelman was braving his own personal trail. Individuals close to the coach know of his extreme fondness of searching the stands for his wife as well as flashing a rare smile while waving at her during the game introductions. Yet he’s tried extremely hard to keep his wife’s illness out of the press to spare her unwanted attention.
Rick Adelman’s woes struck strongly with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are close with the family. The couple’s two sons, R.J. and David have front office positions within the organization. Both remained on their jobs with the Minnesota Timberwolves while their father took leave to attend to his ailing wife.