Don Nelson Rumors
Nelson hired Popovich at a time when he and his star player, Chris Webber, were barely speaking, so Popovich became the intermediary, the guy whose job it was to tell Webber the hard truths about himself. “Pop was great,” Nellie says. “He’d tell Chris, ‘You’re just silly. You don’t get it. You’ve got to mature.’ Too bad he [Webber] didn’t listen. It took him until he was 35 to get there, and by then it was too late for us.”
Tom Orsborn: Interviewed Don Nelson for piece I’m doing on Pop. Nellie laughed out loud when told some say Pop’s in for rough time w/out Duncan. Don Nelson: “Pop’s an intelligent guy and he will adjust to anything… (Plus), Tim Duncan will always be a part of the Spurs. I’ve been around a lot of leaders in my life, but I’ve never been around a better leader than him.” #Spurs
Larry Riley was still the GM, he was the initiator of these talks (remember, he used to work in Milwaukee and had strong ties with the front office) and was justly proud of the decision to draft Curry in 2009. “Larry would’ve never traded Steph–that was his guy, his pick,” one NBA source who knows Riley well said recently. I’ve been tough on Riley over the years, but full credit (along with Don Nelson) for the Curry selection; Riley didn’t trade him during the 2009 draft and wasn’t going to trade him later.
Stephen Jackson in late February guaranteed that his “Warriors team would beat today’s Warriors team,” but Nelson, smoking a cigar on his Maui back porch before heading off to King Kamehameha Golf Club, disagreed. “I don’t think that we were close to the caliber that you guys have,” Nelson said. “Just talk about the center position, in and of itself, the new Warriors are way better at that position. You got Curry, the best point guard in the league. We didn’t really have Curry when we played Dallas that year. So you’d certainly get the nod there.
The Mavericks’ 103-93 win over the Lakers and the Raptors’ 106-87 win over the Bucks last night gave a couple coaches franchise milestones. Rick Carlisle passed Don Nelson for most coaching wins in Dallas history, 340. Dwane Casey took the Toronto record from Sam Mitchell with his 157th win.
Another thing working in Carlisle’s favor: communication. He and Cuban, as well as Nelson and the players, talk constantly. Rare is the moment when the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing. “Obviously, he’s easy to get along with,” Don Nelson said with a laugh. “He must be to stay this long.”