Blog Entry

Terry Porter interviews for Timberwolves position

Posted on: July 18, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 3:55 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Let's be realistic: Don Nelson probably isn't going to be taking the Timberwolves job. Yes, I realize that David Kahn doesn't operate under the law of what's "realistic," but still, pulling the 71-year-old out of retirement (and off a beach in Hawaii) won't be easy. Besides, even though the Wolves would immediately become a cult favorite, it's probably not a great fit.

Which means the Wolves aren't just starting and stopping with Nelson. Other names have popped up -- like Bernie Bickerstaff, Rick Adelman and even Washington Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. One more name to add to the list: Former Suns head coach Terry Porter. Via the Star Tribune:

Former Timberwolves player and former Milwaukee and Portland head coach Terry Porter today is the first candidate to formally interview for the team’s head-coaching job, according to league sources.

(Wolves GM) David Kahn has made background research calls and talked by phone to at least one other candidate -- Don Nelson -- but Porter is the first to come to town to interview with Kahn and likely owner Glen Taylor.

Notice that Porter is actually the first official interview for the Wolves. Nelson spoke with Kahn, but that was just informal talk, likely for feeling out to gauge mutual interest.

With Porter, he was Mike D'Antoni's replacement in Phoenix and attempted to change the culture of the team, slowing down the pace and focusing on defense. It didn't work, and he was fired halfway through the season and replaced by Alvin Gentry, who restored the run and gun to the Suns. Porter also coached two seasons in Milwaukee but didn't experience a ton of success there, either.

Kahn has made it very clear he's looking for a coach who wants to run, and Porter obviously isn't opposed to that. While he slowed the Suns down some, it's not like he turned them into the walk-it-up Blazers or anything. They still played fast, just not as fast. With a roster like the Wolves, Porter might be a solid fit mentoring young Ricky Rubio.

There's a lot of buzz around Nelson, but Porter is the only official interview as of now. Doesn't mean he's the top candidate or the favorite, but it does mean that he's at least in the running.


Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2011 1:35 am

Terry Porter interviews for Timberwolves position

Sometimes it takes try, try, try again. At each stop a coach gains more skills and learns to prioritize better. In Phoenix Porter never has a chance. He followed a very successful coach who was pushed out the door for not coaching defense. Porter is a very skilled defensive coach. For many years he was also the other half of a back court with Clyde Drexler. Two trips to the finals and many wins. And that team did score. Under Rick Adelman they played up tempo and aggressive. Porter has learned well.

But even more important, Terry Porter is class. He will never say one thing and do another. He will never lie. He is always working. Players respect Terry and like playing for him. Can he turn around the Timberwolves? Sorry but he is not Superman. The eclectic collection of forwards and point guards have one thing in common - they don't play defense. They do not work hard either. Was that the coach's fault? Rambus himself seemed to work hard but he was never a leader on the court and somehow could not yet become one off the court. On the other hand Terry Porter was the leader (Clyde was always a get along, laid back guy off the court). With Buck Williams, Porter ran a tight ship. He will continue to be a natural leader in Minnesota.

But the raw materials have several problems. One, it is raw, really raw. Second it is not a balanced roster. Who will guard Andrew Bynum? That is what I thought as well. Who will defend Kobe? Same problem. Who will pass the ball instead of being a ball stopper? Ricky - yes for sure and Ricky might just make the other three point guards trade fodder to  balance the roster. But give him two to three years to begin to show it. The NBA guys are so much bigger and faster and more athletic he will have a steep learning curve. A curve that Porter just might accelerate for him However, remember, this is David Kahn.

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: July 18, 2011 10:10 pm

Terry Porter interviews for Timberwolves position

why does it seem in basketball and baseball that they keep bringing back coachs that have done nothing with other teams. Are there no new canidats out there that can coach.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or