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News » Adams considered one of top defensive coaches

Adams considered one of top defensive coaches

Adams considered one of top defensive coaches
George Karl thought so much of Ron Adams that he offered him a job the first time Karl assembled an NBA coaching staff. Adams declined, but Karl was persistent, making another offer 14 years later.

"I wanted someone to motivate me with their thoughts and ideas, someone who enjoys teaching and development," said Karl, the Denver Nuggets head coach. "Ron did a wonderful job of taking things away from my table in preparation or drilling or skill development."

It's a role similar to the one Adams has with the Oklahoma City Thunder .

Regarded as one of the NBA's top defensive assistant coaches, Adams, 61, was hired a month ago to fill the vacancy created when Scott Brooks was promoted to interim head coach.

Adams essentially has the role Brooks had as P.J. Carlesimo's top assistant.

John Lucas Jr. worked with Adams when both were beginning their NBA coaching careers. Lucas paid Adams the ultimate compliment.

"When he worked with me, Ron was just getting into the league, but he's developed into one of the premier assistant coaches," Lucas said. "He also went through this in Chicago."

Adams worked as either an assistant coach or special assignments scout for the Bulls before he was hired by Oklahoma City.

"Ron has experience with winning teams," Lucas said. "He has experience with bad teams. He has experience with young teams. Just watching them the past month, you can tell he's made an impact."

Oklahoma City was 4-30 when Adams was hired. The Thunder is 7-8 since he joined the staff.

Adams' defensive reputation began as an assistant under Boyd Grant at Fresno State. During eight seasons as Grant's assistant, Adams developed a matchup zone defense, helping the Bulldogs lead the nation in defense four times and finish second twice.

Adams cut his NBA teeth on Jerry Tarkanian's staff at San Antonio, but Tarkanian bolted early in the season. Adams stayed with Lucas, Tarkanian's successor, and then followed Lucas to Philadelphia when he was named the 76ers head coach and general manager.

"Ron is a great organizer, especially on the defensive end," Lucas said. "He's a great X's and O's guy, who is great at making in-game adjustments. He really helped me when I was a young coach."

Brooks first met Adams when he scored 41 points to lead the UC-Irvine Anteaters to a win over Adams' team at Fresno. Adams had replaced Grant as Fresno's head coach.

Brooks and Adams were together briefly in San Antonio during Brooks' playing days.

"I bounce a lot of things off him," Brooks said. "He's one of the bright minds in coaching. He's known as a defensive coach, but he's also a good developmental coach who knows offense.

"It would be a disservice to him if you just consider him as a defensive guy. He loves working with players and helping develop players. That's what he's done with all the teams he's been with."


A look at the coaching history of Thunder assistant coach Ron Adams:

→Fresno Pacific University assistant coach

→Fresno Pacific University head coach

→Fresno State assistant coach

→United States International University coach

→Sunair, Ostende (Belgium Pro League) coach

→University of California-Santa Barbara assistant coach

→Fresno State head coach

→UNLV assistant coach

→San Antonio Spurs assistant coach

→Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach

→Portland Trail Blazers director of East Coast/international player personnel

→Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach

→Chicago Bulls assistant coach/special assignments scout

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: February 5, 2009


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