To Kuhn, Nelson would represent one of those intellectu…

To Kuhn, Nelson would represent one of those intellectual anomalies, and an incredibly persistent one. During his 31 seasons on the sideline, Nellie repeatedly questioned basic basketball assumptions. To win you need a big man on the block. Centers should stay in the paint. Players need to fit rigid positions. As Nelson once explained to the San Francisco Chronicle: “I had spent my whole life asking: ‘Why are point guards expected to only pass, why are small forwards expected to only score and why are centers expected to only post up?’” For his efforts, Nelson was alternately celebrated and derided. “Mad scientist” is both a pejorative and a compliment, after all. When Nellie gave Manute Bol the green light to shoot threes in 1988, Bol proceeded to jack up nearly 100 of them; no small feat considering entire teams took less than 250 a season back then. Granted, Bol only made 20, but he appreciated the concept, even if others didn’t. “Some friends told me that when we play the Lakers, the announcer for L.A. said, ‘Doesn’t Nellie know he shouldn’t shoot that? He has no business shooting from out there,’” Bol told the LA Times in 1989. “But (Nelson) said, ‘If you think it’s a good shot, take it.'”
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As his Golden State Warriors prepare for Sunday’s all-important, regular-season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies, Warriors coach Steve Kerr wants his team to have a clear mindset about exactly how much is at stake. With a win, the Warriors will finish the regular season with a 39-33 record, a game ahead of the Grizzlies for the eighth spot in the Western Conference — allowing for an easier path into postseason play. “We’re really looking at this [as] we’ve got to win two out of our next three games,” Kerr said after Saturday’s practice. “So basically that starts tomorrow; so, in effect tomorrow is a playoff game. And we’ve got to win two before we lose two. That’s what it comes down to out of the next three. Like a little miniseries from the old days in the early ’80s.”
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The Charlotte Hornets and Bank of America this month partnered for the seventh annual Military Care event. This year’s unique initiative saw the full Hornets team and coaching staff, along with 90 volunteers from the two organizations working at home, partner to pack 3,000 care kits to be distributed by the USO of North Carolina to military service members who are required to self-isolate after deployment for 14 days at a quarantine facility before returning home to loved ones. “It is extremely important that we show our gratitude for our troops and the protection they provide,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “Even though we could not gather in person like we have in previous years, we are pleased that we were able to continue to partner with our friends at Bank of America to provide these care kits as a way of offering our thanks to our military service members.”
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