HoopsHype Don Nelson rumors

September 6, 2012 Updates

Nelson’s relationship with Chris Webber in Golden State a decade and half later quickly decayed, leading to the budding superstar’s trade to the Bullets when management decided the duo couldn’t coexist. That is perhaps Nelson’s biggest personal regret, and it may have given him an unwarranted reputation as a coach who couldn’t blend with younger players. “Relating to players has never really been difficult for me,” he said. “There’s only a couple of players who haven’t enjoyed playing for me.” Boston Globe

Nelson would take those Golden State teams to three playoff appearances before having four more with the Mavericks in the 2000s, including a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2003. He had perhaps his greatest coaching moment when the eighth-seeded Warriors defeated the No. 1 Mavericks in the 2007 playoffs. “What I am most proud of is that I went to those teams when they were down, and when I left them, they were all better,” he said. “They had a chance when I left. If you were evaluating my career, you would say that’s what I did, what I enjoyed. “I thought I was always appreciated as being a good coach but I never thought I’d be in the Hall of Fame. The few years I didn’t make it, I just assumed it wasn’t in my future. But that happened now, too. So I got the cake, I got the frosting, and I will be able to eat it, too.” Boston Globe

September 5, 2012 Updates

How about the time he put 6-foot-7 Chris Mullin on 7-foot-1 David Robinson in a playoff series? That was quirky. Just like Mullin on 7-foot-4 Mark Eaton, also in the postseason. And Patrick Ewing as a point-center. Innovative. That was the tag Don Nelson got for decades of trying to lure opponents into mismatch hell as coach of the Bucks, Warriors (twice), Knicks and Mavericks. It was the quirky way he'd encourage Manute Bol to rain threes to force the defense to come out (in the days before zones, thereby opening the interior to give small-ball Golden State a chance to get to the rim) or maybe just to force a good laugh on people. Nelson's fish ties in Milwaukee, Bol launching from distance -- same difference. NBA.com

"I thought it was a positive response to my career," he said of the innovator label. "When you're not blessed to coach the best team for all of my career, really, you had to be innovative. The worse your teams, the more innovative you had to be as a coach to stay competitive and win as many games as you possibly can. That's just part of what I was forced into. If I would have been coaching the championship caliber teams, you'd basically just make sure you're solid at both ends of the court. You don't have to be innovative. And I was less-innovative with the good teams that I coached than the bad ones, for sure." NBA.com

August 30, 2012 Updates

On being a players’ coach and allowing his players more freedom than most coaches: Don Nelson: ”It’s just the importance of every game is so much greater now than when I first broke in. So much pressure to win, win, win. Coaches want more control over the game, stay in game. Once in a while it doesn’t work out, you get blown out. I always tried to train my players to do that on the floor – train them in practice so I didn’t have to do that in the games. “I’ve over-coached in my career as well, though, especially when I didn’t have a good point guard. Then you have to do more of it if you don’t have the leadership on your team. My style would be more like the international rules – where the coach doesn’t have as much control. You can’t call timeout every two mistakes. It’s harder to do that stuff. I think those are good things for the game. It’s bit different game now. There are only a couple of guys who play like I like to play that are left in the game.” CSNBayArea.com

A few other Nelson offerings of note: He despises the isolation game he once so effectively exploited; considers the European system of cutting, movement and passing as more appealing that the modern NBA diet of dribble-heavy, one-on-one play; regards his close friend, Gregg Popovich, as the league's premier coach; and admits that he desperately wanted the Minnesota Timberwolves job that went to Rick Adelman – "I would love to have coached Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love" – but insists his career victory total will stay at 1,335. Sacramento Bee

August 29, 2012 Updates

These days, he's Nellie, the entrepreneur. From his new shaved ice stand, to coffee plants and koa trees, to all his rental properties and a wedding venue in the works right off the beach, the 72-year-old Nelson is about as far removed from his old basketball life as he could be. MSNBC.com

He plays poker at least three times a week with his close-knit group of friends and has become a decent golfer. Those are the guys he called when he got word he was headed to the Hall. "I always kind of felt I was undeserving of getting there," he said. "I still feel unworthy, really. Somebody voted for me, I guess. ... I didn't have a feeling of what it would be. It's really nice. It's a pinnacle of everybody's career." MSNBC.com

August 18, 2012 Updates
May 9, 2012 Updates

Don Nelson has spent a lifetime hanging out with a bunch of 20-somethings. He did it for 14 seasons as an NBA player. He did it for 31 more seasons as an NBA head coach, compiling more victories than anyone else. And he'll do it Saturday morning, when he dons cap and gown and receives his degree in physical education from the University of Iowa in commencement ceremonies at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. "The reason I coached all these years was that I enjoyed so much being around young, talented people," said Nelson, who turns 72 next Tuesday. "This will be like coaching my teams, really. I love talented, young kids." USA Today

April 2, 2012 Updates

Five-time All-Star Reggie Miller and longtime coach Don Nelson are among a dozen players, coaches and teams that will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2012 was announced Monday in New Orleans, the site of the Final Four. Also elected were two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain, three-time college player of the year Ralph Sampson, four-time NBA champion Jamaal Wilkes, longtime referee Hank Nichols, and the All-American Red Heads, the female version of the Harlem Globetrotters. ESPN.com

Nelson coached the Bucks from 1976-87 and compiled a 540-344 record. That is easily the most wins in Bucks’ history and his winning percentage of .661 is the best among the 11 coaches in franchise history. Current Bucks coach Scott Skiles began his pro playing career in Milwaukee in 1986 under Nelson. Skiles said Nelson made an impact on him and felt it was inevitable before Nelson would be accorded the game’s ultimate honor. “It seems obvious to me,” Skiles said of Nelson’s selection. “He’s won more games than anybody else. He did it with different franchises. He was a three-time coach of the year (in 1983, 1985 and 1992).” Racine Journal-Times

Bucks assistant coach Sidney Moncrief not only played for Nelson in Milwaukee but was later an assistant coach for him, Monrief, one of the NBA’s greatest defensive guards ever and the recipient of the first two Defensive Player of the Years awards, said he wouldn’t have accomplished as much as he did without Nelson’s mentoring. “I would not have been a five-time NBA All-Star, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the year, an all-pro without Don Nelson and playing in his system,’’ Moncrief said. “The way he coached us, the way he trained us was exceptional. “He had high expectations for us and expected us to play at a high level.’’ Racine Journal-Times

March 31, 2012 Updates
March 30, 2012 Updates

Bucks assistant coach Sidney Moncrief became a star player with the franchise in the 1980s. And he gives much of the credit to coach Don Nelson, who learned Wednesday he will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Nelson won 540 games with the Bucks from 1976-'87 and went on to win 1,335 NBA games, the most of any coach in league history. "Nellie has had such a profound impact on the game of basketball, on the offensive and defensive end," Moncrief said Thursday. "A lot of people don't realize that Nellie was one of the first coaches in the NBA, that had the creative defenses that looked like a zone but was a man-to-man. "I think one thing you have to remember is his ability to adapt to his players and his players' style." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Moncrief played for the Bucks from 1979-'89 and was part of Nelson's string of seven consecutive division titles. Moncrief was a five-time all-star and two-time NBA defensive player of the year. "I remember when I was a rookie I was trying to play defense a certain way, like I played in college (at Arkansas)," Moncrief said. "I was very passive. "He said, 'You can't play defense like that in the NBA. You've got to get up on the guy, body the guy, be physical. All the things that were very important to me later as a player, he was able to bring out. Also from an offensive standpoint, I don't know if I would have been a five- time NBA all-star and do the things I've done without Nellie being my coach." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

March 29, 2012 Updates

Former Bucks coach Don Nelson will be among this year's class inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Nelson told ESPN on Wednesday that he got the call earlier in the day. The official announcement of the 2012 class for the hall will be Monday at the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans. "It's a great honor to cap my career," Nelson said. "I've had a great time and a great life coaching basketball. I don't actually need to rewarded for anything, but I am very proud and my family is very proud of this award." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

March 28, 2012 Updates

Jerry Zgoda: Congratulations to Don Nelson for making the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame! Well, well deserved to NBA's all- time winning coach... Twitter

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