Rick Adelman made eight straight playoff appearances in eight consecutive winning seasons coaching the Sacramento Kings. His teams even won two division titles.
And it wasn't nearly enough to save his job.
The Kings dismissed Adelman yesterday, four days after they were eliminated by San Antonio. Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations, wouldn't give clear-cut reasons for the decision not to extend Adelman's contract, which expires in September. But owners Joe and Gavin Maloof are widely thought to be behind the move.
''I came to the conclusion that continuing this way just wasn't feasible," said Petrie, who also hired Adelman -- his former roommate from their playing days -- when both worked in Portland.
The Kings also declined to renew the contracts of Adelman's assistants: Elston Turner, T.R. Dunn, Bubba Burrage, and Pete Carril.
New Jersey forward Richard Jefferson
is doubtful for tonight's Game 2 of the Nets' Eastern Conference semifinal series in Miami because of a bone bruise in his right ankle. An MRI was performed on Jefferson's ankle yesterday, and was negative -- as was an X-ray taken shortly after he was injured during the third quarter of New Jersey's 100-88 win in the series opener Monday. ''Just a sprained ankle," Jefferson said. ''It's feeling better. No swelling, more just like a bruise. There's still tenderness but every few hours, it feels like it gets better." Jefferson walked into the arena yesterday without crutches, but with a walking boot. He did not participate in the team's practice, yet has not been formally ruled out for Game 2 . . . The second game was a problem for the Phoenix Suns in the first round, a 99-93 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. ''We've got to learn from what happened to us in the first round," the Suns' Boris Diaw
said. ''We know that Game 2 is really, really important." The Suns face another important game tonight as they try to go up, 2-0, on the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals. The Suns fell behind, 3-1, in the best-of-seven series to the Lakers, but rebounded to win the next three, then withstood a 40-point effort by Elton Brand
to beat the Clippers, 130-123, Monday . . . Sandra Gunner,
president of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, said she expects the city to be ready to take back the Hornets by the 2007-08 season.
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