Winningest coach in NBA history to resign as head coach of the Warriors, assistant Keith Smart to take over. Posted by Matt Moore
Don Nelson has been involved in the NBA in some capacity nearly every single year since 1962. Somehow, despite eschewing every traditional basketball value (discipline, defense, poor sense of humor), he's managed to hang on year after year. But after turning 70 and with new ownership taking over in Golden State, talk had developed that his time may be done.
It would appear that talk was well founded. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has confirmed a report from Matt Stenimetz of CSN Bay Area reports that Don Nelson will announce his resignation as head coach of the Golden State Warriors on Monday. Keith Smart will take over as expected. Steinmetz also reports Calbert Cheaney will move from the front office to an assistant coaching position.
Smart is unlikely to differentiate significantly from the system he's been under immediately, but changes may be made in the same vein as Alvin Gentry's changes to the Warriors. With a better team composed around David Lee inside, the Warriors present a young, versatile team led by Stephen Curry. Then again, Smart could completely switch it up and run what's called, what is it, what's the word? Oh, yeah, a system.
But it will still be strange to see an NBA without Nelson in it, assuming he elects not to pursue another position during the season. At 70 years old, he's hinted strongly at retiring and walking away finally, but with Nelson, you never can tell. During his time, Nelson managed to take the tile of winningest coach in NBA history with 1,333 wins in his career.
There had been thought new owner Joe Lacob might retain Nelson due to the awkward timing of the finalization of the sale, but it would appear that moves to take the franchise into the future are already being set in motion.
We'll keep you updated on how the situation in Golden State progresses.