The NBA Finals this year were heavily influenced by Rick Adelman, thus it is only appropriate that he be honored during the championship series. The National Basketball Coaches Association recognized Adelman as the 18th recipient of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday. It came before Game 2 of the NBA Finals between Denver and Miami; Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is a native of Portland who has fond memories of Adelman’s Trail Blazers teams; and Nuggets assistant coach David Adelman is Rick’s son.
Rick Adelman, who was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021, remarked that it was an honor to be recognized alongside previous winners. “All those who coached against Chuck’s teams admired him as a terrific coach. “I must express my gratitude to everyone who supported me along the way, especially the front offices and my assistant coaches. I also want to thank the players I’ve worked with throughout the years. Everything I accomplished was made possible by their work and cooperation. Coaching is lot easier when you have good players.”
Additionally, two of his former players are participating in the championship game: Heat big Kevin Love and Heat guard Kyle Lowry, who both played for him in Minnesota and Houston, respectively. Adelman, according to Spoelstra, was one of his earliest influences. “As I got older in high school and college, it was Rick,” Spoelstra remarked. “I just adored how he conducted himself. He has been a tremendous mentor to me. David, the Adelman children, and I have known David We were all running about the facilities since he was approximately 3 years old.
With 1,042 victories in the regular season and 79 in the postseason, Rick Adelman ranks 10th overall in NBA history. He twice led the Blazers to the NBA Finals, where they lost to Detroit in 1990 and Chicago in 1992. Sacramento, Golden State, Minnesota, and Houston were among the teams he coached. According to Indiana coach and NBCA President Rick Carlisle, “innovation, integrity, and excellence have been the hallmarks of Rick Adelman’s NBA coaching career.” “Rick always discovered subtle ways to innovate NBA basketball to help his players succeed, and his teams always played to their strengths.
His modest, reserved demeanor belies his stature as one of the greatest NBA coaches ever. Mike Fratello is one of the previous Daly award recipients. (2022), Larry Brown (2021), Del Harris (2020), Frank Layden (2019), Doug Moe (2018, Al Attles and Hubie Brown (2017), K.C. Jones and Jerry Sloan (2016), Dick Motta (2015), Bernie Bickerstaff (2014), Bill Fitch (2013), Pat Riley (2012), Lenny Wilkens (2011), Jack Ramsay and Tex Winter (2010), and Tommy Heinsohn (2009).
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