Odd couple: NBA coach's son, Russian import

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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By Cecil Conley Sports Editor This is what Patrick Adelman gets for asking to have a room to himself at William Jessup University. Private accommodations apparently are not included with the junior’s basketball scholarship. Not only does Adelman have to share a room, but his roommate also happens to be one of his teammates. Five of the eight residents in the four-bedroom apartment are basketball players. Adelman’s roommate, Nikita Evdokimov, is easy to recognize in the crowded quarters. He is the Warriors’ tallest player at 6-foot-9 and the only one who hails from Russia. Adelman is just 5-8. Try those accommodations on for size. Adelman might as well bunk with a giraffe at the zoo. Being the adopted son of an NBA head coach apparently does not carry much weight these days. And that is just fine with Adelman, who would much rather earn his keep than depend on his name Adelman was adopted by his aunt and uncle, Mary Kay and Rick, after his mother died when he was just 4 years old. His father was head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers at the time. “They are amazing people,” Adelman said. “They are my parents. I’ve always called them that.” The family moved to Sacramento when the Kings hired his father, and Adelman attended Granite Bay High School for three years. After the Kings fired his father, the family returned to Oregon. Adelman’s life has revolved around basketball. As a high school senior, he played with Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love at Lake Oswego as the Lakers won the state championship. After two seasons at Chemeteka Community College in Salem, Ore., where his father also played, Adelman figured the time had come to step out on his own. William Jessup was the place to do so. “I wanted to get back here,” Adelman said. “My whole family’s in Oregon. I want to do my own thing.” Now the 21-year-old has a roommate who has played basketball for just two years since arriving in the United States. Adelman’s “Sport Psychology for Coaches” book should come in handy. Adelman aspires to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a coach. Evdokimov is his first pupil. That was Warriors head coach Aaron Muhic’s strategy when he arranged for the two to be roommates. He also thought Adelman and Evdokimov would get along despite their distinct backgrounds. “They’re most definitely the odd couple,” Muhic said. “I thought Patrick would help Nikita develop.” Evdokimov does not have to look far to find answers to his basketball questions. Adelman is just a few feet away in their room. They can’t help but run into each other. The room is that small. “He’ll tell me to do this way or do it that way, but it’s not in a bad way,” Evdokimov said of his tutor. The challenge for Adelman is figuring out when to drill Evdokimov and when to just be his roommate. Adelman is learning that a coach has to know how and when to push a player’s buttons. “You have to build a gap between practice and home,” Adelman said of the relationship. “When (Evdokimov) seems approachable, I try to help him out. He has a lot of talent and he wants to learn.” There are few secrets between the teammates because there is no space in their room to hide anything. Evdokimov knows Adelman likes to sleep and stays out of the room when it is nap time. Adelman suspects Evdokimov has a girlfriend in Russia and is determined to find out her identity “I can’t have a girlfriend right now,” Evdokimov said. “I’m too busy.”