HOUSTON (CBS Houston) — Rockets owner Leslie Alexander claimed former coaches Jeff Van Gundy and Rick Adelman didn’t listen when he made his three or four calls to them each year they were on the job.
Apparently those calls would have welcomed by Adelman – had they actually come. Adelman was in town with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night for the first time since his departure last spring.
“I’m still waiting for that phone call he said he made to me every year because I never got it,” Adelman said prior to Monday night’s game. “I don’t know where that was coming from unless he was calling another Rick.”
Adelman was reacting to a column by former Houston Chronicle columnist Richard Justice in which Alexander said Van Gundy and Adelman chose not to have a relationship with him.
“I’ve always had great relationships with my general managers – with Daryl and CD (Carroll Dawson),” Alexander said in the column. “Coaches for some reason find it more difficult than general managers. Don’t ask me why, but they do.”
Alexander went on to say he called both coaches three or four times a season. The owner said he found those conversations to be unproductive, if not hostile.
Adelman took exception to that description of his interaction with Alexander.
“He said he use to call me three or four times a year and that never happened,” said Adeleman, who coached the Rockets for four seasons. “When you leave a place, there are reasons why you leave, there are reasons why you are not there. I chose not to accept the extension that they offered me. I just felt the operation it was Daryl and Les talking and then when I met with Les it was Daryl, Les and I. I didn’t think anything of it until I saw all this stuff about how I never listened to him.
“I’m not real smart but I’m going to listen to my boss. That just kind of turned me the wrong way but everybody has a spin on something when something happens. I chose to remember it was a great place to work and I had a lot of fun. Hopefully we can recreate in Minnesota with the same atmosphere.”