Houston — The Houston Rockets have hired Rick Adelman to replace Jeff Van Gundy, hoping the veteran NBA coach can break the team's recent history of postseason flops.
"I always knew I was going to look for something eventually," Adelman said Tuesday night as he arrived at an airport in Houston, where he was met by team officials. "This is obviously just a great situation with the city, the organization. I'm really excited. This is a team that played so solid last year. You can build on that."
The Rockets were set to introduce Adelman at a news conference this afternoon.
Adelman, 60, brings an up-tempo, high-scoring system to Houston, a stark contrast to Van Gundy's more defense-minded and methodical approach. Van Gundy was fired Friday after the Rockets were bounced from the opening round of the playoffs for the third time in his four seasons.
Adelman has been out of coaching since the Sacramento Kings chose not to renew his contract after the 2005-06 season. The Kings had a winning record and made the playoffs in each of Adelman's eight seasons.
The Rockets fired Van Gundy after the Rockets finished 52-30, their best regular-season record in 10 years, then lost to Utah in the first round. Houston went 182-146 under Van Gundy, but went 7-12 in three postseason appearances.
Adelman previously coached Golden State and Portland. The Trail Blazers made two NBA finals appearances under Adelman in 1990 and '92, losing both times. With the Kings, his teams were among the best and highest-scoring in the NBA, but they couldn't get past the Lakers of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.