Deliberate Maloofs keep coach for another season

Updated: February 2, 2005, 1:40 AM ET
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento Kings exercised their one-year option on coach Rick Adelman on Tuesday, keeping him under contract through next season.

Even though Adelman has taken the Kings to the playoffs every year since coming to Sacramento in 1998, owners Joe and Gavin Maloof waited to see how the team started this season before deciding whether to pick up his option for 2005-06.

A solid start despite several injuries was enough to earn Adelman another year.

"Rick has enjoyed tremendous success as head coach of the Kings," Joe Maloof said in a statement. "His hard work and dedication to the job is much appreciated by our family and the entire Kings organization."

Sacramento (30-13) went into Tuesday night's game against Seattle in second place in the Pacific Division, 4{ games behind Phoenix.

Adelman got a call from Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie as he was driving to Arco Arena for the game Tuesday afternoon. His assistant coaches also will be retained, the team said.

"Obviously, I'm very happy. The Maloofs have been very good to me and I feel good about this option being picked up," Adelman said. "I love coaching here, the city, the team. So it just gives you some security and the understanding that you can build off this year."

Adelman helped his cause with Sunday's 94-84 victory at Minnesota. The Kings ended the Timberwolves' five-game winning streak despite not having stars Chris Webber and Peja Stojakovic because of injuries.

"Sometimes I think Rick doesn't get the recognition he deserves for the job he's done here in Sacramento," Petrie said. "We play a very entertaining style of basketball, evidenced by the fact that we have sold out 250 consecutive games at Arco Arena."

Adelman entered Tuesday's game 331-172 in seven years in Sacramento and is the winningest coach in franchise history. He led the Kings to the seventh game of the Western Conference finals in 2002 before losing to the Lakers, but Sacramento has been knocked out in the second round each of the past two seasons.

He has coached 15 seasons in the NBA, including stints with Portland and Golden State. He has a career record of 688-424 and led Portland to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992.

Adelman didn't allow himself to think about his contract situation too much, and he'd had no recent discussions with management on the subject.

"I didn't feel it was a burden. I was asked early about it and I felt our staff deserved to have the option year picked up," Adelman said. "If it didn't happen, I felt I had some options to do other things. If it did, that was my first choice. I'm very pleased and very thankful for my family. I love the staff we have."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press