With another Rockets season winding down and playoff chances evaporating with every loss, Rick Adelman has a big decision to make. Speculation has swirled that he will walk away when his contract ends at the end of this season.
When asked about Adelman's contract status, Les Alexander was non-committal:
"At the end of the season, I'll sit down with Daryl and we'll talk about it," Alexander said. "Nothing has been done yet, or thought about yet in that regard."
Fair enough. Kind of typical owner-speak for a team that is hovering around the .500 mark and not doing anything to impress. But Les wasn't finished:
"There's nothing that doesn't play into it," Alexander said. "I can understand that. I understand that he lives in Portland. Coming back and forth is a tough thing. That's all I can say. I can't speak for him."
Okay, so that is a little strange. It's not hostile or openly critical, but it certainly sounds like there isn't a whole lot of communication between Alexander and his coach. Especially when you consider that Adelman has now responded to the above comments with some comments of his own (keeping in mind that this "conversation" is happening through the media):
"I don't live in Portland. (Alexander) said I live in Portland and it's like I come back. I don't do that. I go in the offseason. I have a house there, and I've had a house there for seven years."
Again, certainly not hostile - but why wouldn't this conversation happen via phone call? Or even email? I wouldn't even call this a spat - but it certainly reflects poorly on their level of communication.
Adelman also somewhat surprisingly talked openly that he didn't have an extension laid out in front of him for consideration like some other coaches in the NBA. Note the way this quote is worded:
"... to address what is going to happen in the future, I don't have anything laid out in front of me, unlike some coaches (George Karl of the Nuggets and Nate McMillan of the Trail Blazers). They made decisions this year. They had extensions laid out in front of them, and they made a decision. That's down the road when this season is over. Everyone's going to have to look where they are."
I don't want to twist what Adelman is saying here, because the realty is - he's always been a pretty matter-of-fact, no-nonsense kind of guy. He probably was just being honest and getting his point across quickly so he could move on to something he wanted to do, rather than talking to a reporter.
Typically, Adelman would skip all the information about the other coaches, and go right to the part about how he and the Rockets will make a decision at the end of the season. I find it interesting that he noted the other coaches, who are clearly wanted back in 2012.
Was that just an off-handed comment designed to end the line of questioning so he could move on with his time? Was it a veiled shot at his boss? (Doubtful.) Perhaps just a honest, typically to the point take on a subject he's sick of discussing?
Time will tell. To me, he simply looks tired. Even more so than a 64 year-old coach of 20-somethings normally looks. When he says he's not sure if he even wants to come back next year, I believe him. With all the injury issues, a lack of a star player, and a team built around a guy who can't stay on the court - the Houston job is certainly a frustrating one.
Perhaps Alexander, Adelman, and Daryl Morey will have their next conversation about 2012 behind closed doors.