MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –
Bobby Jackson’s playing career first took off when he arrived in Minnesota as a junior college transfer.
Now he’s hoping a return to the state where he became a star will give his coaching career the same kind of jolt.
Jackson was named a player development coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday as part of a reorganization of coach Rick Adelman’s staff. Adelman’s son, David, was promoted from player development coach to assistant coach as well.
Jackson starred for two seasons with the Golden Gophers, leading them to a Final Four appearance in 1997 before embarking on a 12-year NBA career. He played for Rick Adelman for six of those seasons, in Sacramento and Houston.
“He kind of took me from a loose cannon to a nice young player,” Jackson said of Rick Adelman. “I have a lot of respect for him and what he’s done for the game and how he improves players’ games. He doesn’t say a lot, but when he wants to get something through, he knows how to do it.”
Jackson also spent two seasons playing for the Timberwolves under Flip Saunders, who is now the president of basketball operations. When the team chose not to renew player development coach Shawn Respert’s contract, Saunders reached out to his fellow former Gopher.
“In Bobby Jackson, we are bringing a Minnesota basketball icon back to our state,” Saunders said in a statement issued by the team. “Bobby has the respect of players around our league and did a great job working with the young Kings players this past season. Both Rick Adelman and I are very familiar with Bobby and are excited to have him on our coaching staff.”
Jackson worked with the young Kings roster for the previous three seasons, but did not have an opportunity to stay on the new coaching staff this season. So here he is, back where he first put his name on the map. Jackson transferred to the Gophers from Western Nebraska and became one of the top guards in the Big Ten. He had a magical run to the Final Four as a senior, an achievement later vacated by an academic fraud scandal.
Jackson was known for wearing high socks, but said he only started doing that when he got to Minnesota because it was so cold in the winter, even in Williams Arena.
“I’m looking forward to going over to the U and being a part of that situation and talking to the new coaches over there, but also just building here and trying to get this team to the playoffs,” he said.
He takes the place of Respert, a valued assistant who worked hard with some of the team’s younger players to get them acclimated to the NBA and Rick Adelman’s system.
David Adelman takes the place of Bill Bayno, who left to take the lead assistant job in Toronto. David Adelman coached the Timberwolves’ summer league team and has been given more responsibilities over the last two seasons, including game-planning and scouting.
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