Minneapolis/St. Paul – With tonight’s Minnesota Timberwolves’ 107-101 win over the Detroit Pistons, Wolves head coach Rick Adelman becomes the eighth NBA head coach to record 1,000 career victories, joining Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl as the only active members of the 1,000-win club. By reaching the milestone in his 1703rd NBA game, Adelman becomes the fifth-fastest NBA head coach to win 1,000 NBA games. In his 22nd season as an NBA head coach, tonight’s victory moves Adelman’s career coaching record to 1000-703, a winning percentage of .587.
Adelman, 66, has served as head coach of five NBA teams: Portland (1988 – 94), Golden State (1995 – 97), Sacramento (1998 – 2006), Houston (2007 – 11) and Minnesota (2012 – current). Some of his coaching highlights include: two NBA Finals appearances (1990 and 1992 with Portland), four Western Conference Finals (1989-90, 1990-91 and 1991-92 with Portland and 2001-02 with Sacramento) and four division titles (1990-91 and 1991-92 with Portland; 2001-02 and 2002-03 with Sacramento).
Adelman’s teams have reached the NBA playoffs in 16 of his 21+ seasons as a head coach, and he holds an all-time playoff record of 79-78 (.503 winning percentage). He is one of only five head coaches in NBA history to win 60+ games in a season with two different teams (Portland and Sacramento). Adelman has been runner-up for the NBA Coach of the Year award four times.
Adelman began his coaching career at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon, where his teams amassed a 141-39 record over six seasons (1977-83). Chemeketa won or shared in three Oregon community college championships and one regional title.
NBA Head Coaches to have Registered 1,000 Career NBA Head Coaching Victories:
Coach Seasons Wins Losses Winning PCT
Don Nelson 31 1,335 1,063 .557
Lenny Wilkins 32 1,332 1,155 .536
Jerry Sloan 26 1,221 803 .603
Pat Riley 24 1,210 694 .636
Phil Jackson 20 1,155 485 .704
Larry Brown 26 1,098 904 .548
George Karl 24 1,088 727 .599
Rick Adelman 22 1,000 703 .587
NBA Head Coaches – Fastest to 1,000 Wins:
Coach Game Date Opponent Final
Phil Jackson 1423 Dec. 25, 2008 vs. Boston 92-83
Pat Riley 1434 Nov. 1, 2000 vs. Orlando 105-79
Jerry Sloan 1663 Dec. 11, 2006 vs. Dallas 101-79
George Karl 1679 Dec. 10, 2010 at Toronto 123-116
Rick Adelman 1703 Apr. 6, 2013 vs. Detroit 107-101
Larry Brown 1762 Jan. 13, 2006 vs. Atlanta 105-94
Don Nelson 1790 Dec. 29, 2001 vs. Atlanta 113-97
Lenny Wilkens 1838 Mar. 1, 1996 vs. Cleveland 74-68
Quotes from Around the League on Wolves Head Coach Rick Adelman:
“I’ve said it many times, I think he’s the most underrated coach in the league… Even the guys that he’s coached in the past that are on other teams now, they still do the things that he taught them offensively. He’s very creative in that sense… He’s one of those guys, he doesn’t try to get the camera. He couldn’t care less. He just wants to do his job and go home. And he does it well. - San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich
“Coach Adelman has been one of the best in dealing with this generational pull, and at the same time he’s become one of the most creative offensive minds that this game has ever known. He truly and is simply one of the best coaches in the history of the game, and I hated coaching against him because I knew he was going to pick us apart. He’d find a way to exploit what we were doing defensively. When you get to 1,000 wins, you’ve been around a long time and you’ve been on both sides of the equation. You’ve had a lot of wins, and you’ve had a lot of losses. So, I think that’s one thing about longevity in this league. There aren’t a lot of coaches that can hang in there for 20-25 years.” - Miami Heat team president Pat Riley
“He sees the game within the game, and he sees where the league is going and he’s making adjustments before everybody else makes adjustments. The whole thing comes down to, as you get older, it’s the ability every year to deliver a team of excellence and improvement. The betterment, I think, he plays a system that makes his players improve in the league. The development of excellence year in and year out is a tremendous compliment. I’m happy that he’s going to get there, and I’m sure he’s going to get there this year. - Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl
“I think Rick is probably one of the most underappreciated coaches in all of basketball. I think he’s a Hall of Fame coach, I really do. Everywhere he’s gone, he’s won. He just kind of does it under the radar, I don’t know if he’s easy to work with or not. I just know he’s a really good coach.” - Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers
“It couldn’t happen to a better guy. He has a unique style of coaching. He’s been able to get his players to play the game he wants without any problems with the players. The players seem to buy into his system, and that’s helped him get to where he is today. A thousand wins is a great achievement. That means Rick has done it with different teams and different talent. That’s the mark of an excellent coach. No matter where he’s gone, he’s been successful.” - ESPN Radio Analyst Dr. Jack Ramsey
“I don’t know how to say it, but I’m so happy to be with that coach. It seems like he knows everything. I feel comfortable with him. It’s something that he has and you can’t explain it. Once you are on his team, he’s giving you advice, it’s like a clinic every single day…He lets us play and that’s pretty cool for me. I like when I’m out there and playing like it’s a playground and it’s the NBA. It’s fun. He deserves it, especially this year. He stayed with the team and he has all my respect for that. We just want to make a run here and give him good news.” - Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio
“I think one of the greatest parts about him is that it’s not about him. It’s never about him. It’s definitely a big deal to him that he’s coming up on a thousand wins, but you’d never know it. He always lets it be the players’ team. It’s all about us. It’s all about us getting better, and it’s never about the notoriety about him.” - Timberwolves forward Kevin Love
“When he’s talking, everybody is listening. Every time he’s talking, you want to listen. Every advice he’s giving you is very valuable. He’s not the guy who is going to repeat (his message) five times trying to put it into your head. He said it once, and if you don’t get it, that means you don’t want to listen.” -Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko