NUGGETS

Who is Denver Nuggets assistant coach David Adelman?

Jan 18, 2023, 2:49 PM

You may have looked over at the Denver Nuggets bench during their 122-113 win over the Portland Trail Blazers and wondered; ‘where is head coach Michael Malone?’ One of the longest-tenured coaches in the NBA was out, sitting in health and safety protocols. That led to assistant coach David Adelman leading the Nuggets for the night.

Adelman, 41, has been on the Nuggets staff since 2017 and is now the lead assistant after Chris Finch, Wes Unseld Jr. and Jordi Fernández have gotten promotions elsewhere.

Born to be a coach, Adelman is the son of Hall of Famer Rick Adelman, who led the Blazers from 1989-1994 then was the head coach of Golden State, Sacramento, Houston and Minnesota. The younger Adelman got his first NBA gig working for his father and the Timberwolves.

Adelman is a former Trail Blazers ball boy who would listen to his father’s halftime speeches and grew up in Oregon, so his first win to come against Portland brings it full circle, despite the win not being officially on his coaching record.

“I really think he’s the guy who’s going to be the next head coach because he has that head for a head coach,” Nikola Jokic said after his triple-double in the win. “He is thinking in front, he knows answers, and he reads and reacts.”

“Us players, we wanted to show him love,” Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said.

Adelman is likely to lead the Nuggets again on Wednesday against the Timberwolves, of all teams. What is interesting is it appeared he had some runway to try some different things as pointed out by another reporter.

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Who is Denver Nuggets assistant coach David Adelman?