Rick Adelman met with Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor on Tuesday as planned but returned to his offseason home in Portland, Ore., without an offer to be the Timberwolves' next head coach or a promise that one would be forthcoming, a source familiar with the talks said.
This was Adelman's second trip to Minneapolis in as many weeks to explore the possibility of him succeeding Kurt Rambis, who was fired in July. Adelman visited last week but did not meet with Taylor because the 70-year-old owner was not feeling well, a league source said.
Adelman returned to Minneapolis late Monday night, had dinner with general manager David Kahn and met with Taylor at his home on Tuesday before flying home again, the source said.
The Timberwolves do not plan to interview any more candidates, but there is a possibility that they could invite one or two who already have interviewed to a second visit, a league source said. Aside from Adelman, the Timberwolves interviewed Bernie Bickerstaff, Don Nelson, Larry Brown, Terry Porter, Mike Woodson and Sam Mitchell.
It is not known who among them would be invited for a second visit, but since Woodson has accepted an assistant coach's job with the New York Knicks and both Porter and Mitchell played for the Timberwolves, if the purpose is for Taylor to get a better feel for his next head coach, the pool of potential returnees would most likely be Bickerstaff, Nelson and Brown.
Adelman, 65, has coached four teams over 20 seasons, reaching the playoffs 16 times but not in his last two seasons with the Houston Rockets, who fired him shortly after the season. He initially told reporters a month ago that he planned to sit out this season, with or without the current labor lockout ending.
Based on message boards and other Timberwolves' fan sites, Adelman is the clear favorite locally. Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love, who went to high school in Portland, and Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio already have jokingly wondered via their Twitter accounts if they can refer to Adelman as "coach" yet.
The answer: Not yet. And, as of now, maybe never.
Ric Bucher is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.