Tag:Don Nelson
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:15 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 2:09 pm
 

Reggie Miller leads Hall of Fame Finalists

Reggie Miller leads the 2012 Naismith Hall of Fame class of finalists. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

The 2012 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame candidates were announced Friday at an event during All-Star Weekend. The candidates are as follows: 

Reggie Miller: Last year's big exclusion. Miller held the record for all-time made three-pointers until Ray Allen broke it last season. Miller should be in by a mile. Miller finished his career as a 47 percent shooter despite being a three-point expert, where he was a 40 percent career shooter. He averaged 18 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds during his 18-year career. 

Mo Cheeks: Played eleven years for the Sixers and is currently an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder after head coaching stints in Portland and Philadelphia. Another logical nominee, Cheeks was a four-time All-Star, a four-time NBA All-Defensive Team member, an NBA Champion in 1983 with Philadelphia, and lead the league in field goal percentage in 1975. 

Bernard King: Four-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA, finished second in MVP voting in 1984. Averaged 23 points and six rebounds on 52 percent shooting during a fourteen-year career. 

Bill Fitch: Two-time NBA Coach of the Year, NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics in 1981. 25 years of coaching in the NBA, including 944 wins, one of the true legends in coaching circles 

Dick Motta: NBA Champion in 1971 with over 1,000 victories at various levels of play. 

Don Nelson: Nelson is also not going to have any trouble, considering he has the most wins of any coach in NBA history. A .557 winning percentage over 2,398 games across over three decades in the league? Yeah, I'd say Nellie's good to go. 

Hank Nichols: Long-time official and "rule architect." 

Rick Pitino: Well, this is an NBA blog, so we'll leave that one alone and leave it to our Eye on College Basketball brethren

Jamaal Wikes: Four-time NBA champion, three-time All-Star, two-time All-Defensive team (second team). Career averages of 16 points and six rebounds on 50 percent shooting. 

Ralph Sampson: Three-time Naismith Award and National College Player of the Year Award winner. His work at Virginia is the stuff of legend. Three-time NBA All-Star. 

Katrina McClain: Two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time FIBA gold medalist. Two-time USA Basketball female athlete of the year. 

All-American Red Heads: The female version of the Globetrotters, basically. 


Many worthy candidates this year, but it also looks like the process for induction will be different next season. More on that in a bit. 
Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:37 pm
 

What's next for Kings after Westphal?



By Matt Moore


With the predictable, yet sooner-than-expected firing of Paul Westphal today, the Kings seem to be in disarray. But looking at the roster and the talent available, plus the job being in California (be it Sacramento or Anaheim), you have to consider it to be one of the more attractive positions likely to open this year. Yes, the franchise is in disarray from an ownership and organizational perspective, but this is the NBA. Those things magically fade to the background if you start winning with a talented roster, and the Kings have a talented roster.

So who's on the radar for the Kings? We're going to give you a few options the Kings might explore and how those options play out with the different coaches, but first you need to understand the complexities of the situation.

The Kings are not, publicly or reportedly, under any financial strain, beyond the losses which were poured over in lockout talks. But the Maloofs were hit hard by the economic recession, which helped fuel their desire for the move to Anaheim last year that was thrwarted by the NBA. One of the primay reasons many believed Westphal would not be fired this season was due to the salary that must be paid to him in addition to a new coach. That the Kings felt it was imperative to move on is a good sign for Kings fans, indicating that they're willing to pay out the rest of the deal to get started on a new chapter. Still, the price tag on many of the options below may be too high. The situation in Sacramento goes beyond "get the best coach available."

Keith Smart: In November of 2008, P.J. Carlesimo was fired from the Thunder after a 1-12 start. A young
assistant and former player Scott Brooks took over. Voila. OK, so Keith Smart is 47, and this is his third stint as interim head coach. But if Smart somehow manages to get through to this team (including yes, DeMarcus Cousins), that would be the best possible situation for all. Smart wouldn't cost a fortune and has continuity. Drawbacks? Well, he was part of the horrible start and he's failed to stick at the two previous interim spots. Smart drew mixed reviews in Golden State before the Warriors hired Mark Jackson. He's got his work cut out for him.

Larry Brown: Yahoo Sports already brought up this possibility, via an executive. Brown might be great for DeMarcus Cousins with his brutal, intense ways. It also might detonate. Brown has experience (there's the understatement of the year) and brings a high-value name to the project. But Brown is also renown for crushing the souls and dreams of young guards. Let's see. Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette... yeah, this is like an execution line of hope under Brown. Brown's also 71, so he's not a long-term solution. He's also going to want more organizational control than GM Geoff Petrie is willing to surrender.

Don Nelson: Fast guards that don't play defense and a mercurial, angry forward? What could possibly go wrong here for Nelson? Nelson would likely want more control as well, and is no spring chicken either. But man would that team be fun to watch. This idea's already been floated by the Mercury News

Mike D'Antoni: See, it's a jump-to-conclusions mat! This one's out there, but it makes so much sense from a strategy standpoint. Say D'Antoni gets scapegoated (already happening) in New York because his front office listened to a former GM that wrecked their franchise and gave up the farm for a high-usage small forward who stuggles with anything except shooting out of ISO sets and rebounding. D'Antoni lands in Sacramento. Warmer weather. An explosive big man who's a bit of an enigma. Multiple players with liquid position skills. And a shoot-first undersized guard. Come on now. You want to watch this. Even a little. This has about zero percent chance of happening, but the idea was so good I couldn't resist listing it.

Phil Jackson: Haha, just kidding.

Mario Elie: Another Kings coach. Elie is popular with the players though, and has a longer history with the team. This is pretty unlikely given the team passing him over once, but if Smart is sent out at season's end after Westphal, Elie might be promoted.

Brian Shaw: The man many felt should have gotten the job in Los Angeles might want the chance to go after his old team. Shaw is a players' coach, which might be just what the Kings need. If he were to want to put the triangle in place, though, run as fast as humanly possible.

Quin Snyder: Snyder worked under the Spurs system in Austin as the Spurs' D-League coach, then as an assistant in Philadelphia under Doug Collins and this season as an assistant for Mike Brown and the Lakers. He's a development coach who can get through to players and has had nothing but good marks since his departure from Missouri. Plus Kings fans could get wigs of the hair, which is fun.

Posted on: September 9, 2011 4:41 pm
 

Report: Adelman wants $25 million from Wolves

Posted by Royce Young

The Timberwolves have made it pretty clear that they want Rick Adelman to be their next head coach. The question is: How badly do they want him? Because if they really, really want him, they're going to have to prove it.

According to the Star Tribube, Adelman is looking to get $5 million a year from the Wolves for five years. That, boys and girls, is a grand total of $25 million. For perspective, there isn't a single player on the Wolves roster signed for that long for that much. Not Ricky Rubio, not Kevin Love, not Derrick Williams.

The report says that Flip Saunders was paid somewhere in the $5 million a year range in his last few seasons with the Wolves, so a precedent has been set. But $25 million is quite the committment for a coach. Unless Red Auerbach is back from the dead or Phil Jackson's done smoking peyote, I'm not sure anyone's really worth that much.

So what's the backup plan if Adelman doesn't pan out? The report says Don Nelson -- yes, Don Nelson -- is the secondary option behind Adelman. And his deal would be something like three years for $10 million. It also says not to entirely rule out Sam Mitchell as a candidate either. Glen Taylor and David Kahn are looking to hire someone with experience so those three fit the bill.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 12:38 pm
 

Adelman, Bickerstaff to interview with Wolves

Posted by Royce Young

Two more names to picture running the wildly interesting Timberwolves roster: Rick Adelman and Portland assistant Bernie Bickerstaff. Both had been rumored to be candidates, but according to the Star Tribune, the two will get interviews this weekend.

Previously, the Wolves had interviewed Mike Woodson and Terry Porter. Don Nelson, who is easily the most interesting candidate, has only spoken with David Kahn about the position. It's unknown if he'll have a formal interview.

What's intriguing about Adelman is that only a few months ago after he departed from the Rockets, he said he would likely be done coaching and look to the front office. He's older and has certainly been around, but even then it seemed odd that Adelman might really be done. He's been coaching for a long time and is still one of the best offensive minds in the game.

Which is what makes him an interesting fit for the Wolves. I get the feeling that this is Adelman's job if he wants it. He understands up tempo, understands young players and can install an offensive system that works. He's a proven winner and likely will connect well with the Wolves young roster.

However, he could be anxious about working with Kahn who tarnished his already well-tarnished reputation with his handling of Kurt Rambis. Hence, Bickerstaff might be a more natural fit since he's an assistant looking for a head position and also that his son, J.B., already worked with the Wolves. (J.B. recently took an assistant position with the Rockets but could come back to Minnesota if his dad got the job.)

It's still very up in the air and if we learned anything from how Kahn handled Rambis, we probably won't have a firm answer until somewhere around 2014. But the candidates are piling up and interviews are happening. Who it'll be though, is still a pretty interesting though.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 3:55 pm
 

Terry Porter interviews for Timberwolves position

Posted by Royce Young

Let's be realistic: Don Nelson probably isn't going to be taking the Timberwolves job. Yes, I realize that David Kahn doesn't operate under the law of what's "realistic," but still, pulling the 71-year-old out of retirement (and off a beach in Hawaii) won't be easy. Besides, even though the Wolves would immediately become a cult favorite, it's probably not a great fit.

Which means the Wolves aren't just starting and stopping with Nelson. Other names have popped up -- like Bernie Bickerstaff, Rick Adelman and even Washington Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. One more name to add to the list: Former Suns head coach Terry Porter. Via the Star Tribune:

Former Timberwolves player and former Milwaukee and Portland head coach Terry Porter today is the first candidate to formally interview for the team’s head-coaching job, according to league sources.

(Wolves GM) David Kahn has made background research calls and talked by phone to at least one other candidate -- Don Nelson -- but Porter is the first to come to town to interview with Kahn and likely owner Glen Taylor.

Notice that Porter is actually the first official interview for the Wolves. Nelson spoke with Kahn, but that was just informal talk, likely for feeling out to gauge mutual interest.

With Porter, he was Mike D'Antoni's replacement in Phoenix and attempted to change the culture of the team, slowing down the pace and focusing on defense. It didn't work, and he was fired halfway through the season and replaced by Alvin Gentry, who restored the run and gun to the Suns. Porter also coached two seasons in Milwaukee but didn't experience a ton of success there, either.

Kahn has made it very clear he's looking for a coach who wants to run, and Porter obviously isn't opposed to that. While he slowed the Suns down some, it's not like he turned them into the walk-it-up Blazers or anything. They still played fast, just not as fast. With a roster like the Wolves, Porter might be a solid fit mentoring young Ricky Rubio.

There's a lot of buzz around Nelson, but Porter is the only official interview as of now. Doesn't mean he's the top candidate or the favorite, but it does mean that he's at least in the running.

Posted on: July 16, 2011 2:30 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 3:42 pm
 

Kahn and Nelson have talked about Wolves position

Posted by Royce Young

Oh boy, it might really be happening. Don Nelson might really, truly, actually be a candidate for the Minnesota Timberwolves coaching position. Last week when word broke that Nelson was interested in the Minnesota roster, it just seemed like something a retired coach might say, but without much actual chance of happening.

But according to the Star Tribune, Nelson has spoken with general manager David Kahn about the position and is still very interested. That's saying something about his level of interest right there.

"I think it'd be a great fit," Nelson said. "I love Minnesota.

"Really, throughout my career, what I've done is taken teams with bad records and with every situation I've made them better. I like to be around young players. I've had great success with bad teams, getting them on the right track, getting them to max out. I have a great history there."

Nelson, of course, is the NBA's all-time winningest coach and recently retired/was forced to retire after a bumpy stint in Golden State. He's 71, so he's not necessarily a long-term solution. But in terms of trying to turn around a young roster, he indeed might be a decent fit. At the very least, he's an incredibly intriguing one.

Putting Nelson's up-and-down style with Ricky Rubio running point, Kevin Love throwing outlets and Derrick Williams running the floor is nothing short of fascinating for any NBA junkie.

Would that translate to wins?

Hard to say. But a Minnesota franchise commandeered by Kahn and Nelson would be some incredible fodder. Kahn wants the team to run, and you know that's what Nelson will do.

One guy, though, that's probably not excited about this idea is Anthony Randolph. I bet he thought he was finally free of Nelson. Not for long, maybe.
Posted on: July 12, 2011 7:31 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 7:51 pm
 

Report: Don Nelson a potential Wolves candidate

Posted by Royce Young

The NBA's all-time winningest coach might be making a return. But only because he's so intrigued by the Minnesota Timberwolves. I know. What?

According to ESPN.com, Don Nelson, most recently of the Warriors and likely a beach in Hawaii, is open to a return to coaching specifically with the Wolves because of the roster.

I can tell you this: I'm intrigued at the thought of Don Nelson coaching the Timberwolves. The reckless, up-and-down offense coupled with zero defense, featuring Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love, Wesley Johnson and Derrick Williams? Um, yes please.

David Kahn has said repeatedly that he wants the Wolves to play an up tempo style game and the team would be built on an exciting brand of basketball. That never really happened because, for one, Jonny Flynn was the point guard and, two, because newly fired coach Kurt Rambis tried to install the triangle offense while also pleasing the front office with some running.

Obviously, it never worked.

Nelson, though, is 71 and his last few seasons with the Warriors didn't go well. He was stubborn with rotations, erratic with decisions and almost appeared apathetic on the bench as Golden State slogged through mediocrity, save for one shining playoff year.

Nelson's son, Donnie, hinted back in October that his dad might not be entirely done coaching. "Never say never,'' Donnie said. "I thought when he was the godfather (in Dallas after handing the coaching reins to Avery Johnson in March 2005), I thought that was the perfect existence. But he wanted to coach again. With him, you just never know.''

Would a Don Nelson era with the Wolves be successful? I doubt it. But would it be a lot of fun and so very, very David Kahn? Absolutely.

Posted on: April 28, 2011 2:57 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 1:56 pm
 

Warriors short list: looking for a powerless hand

Warriors short list includes several former head coaches, but seeks to give them "minimal input" over personnel decisions. Huh?
Posted by Matt Moore

With Keith Smart ousted in Golden State, the search naturally begins for his replacement. The next coach will be inheriting a roster built for speed, with defensive liabilities at multiple positions and a lot of guys that like to shoot... well, a lot. So who's on the early short list? From the Contra-Costa Times' Marcus Thompson.
Riley said the Warriors havent contacted anyone yet and dont have a timetable for hiring a new coach, though he said it wouldnt hurt to have one by the NBA draft, which is June 23.

He declined to reveal whom the Warriors have on their shortlist, but multiple sources -- from the team and in NBA circles -- said they believe former Cleveland coach Mike Brown and assistant coaches Dwane Casey of Dallas, Mike Budenholzer of San Antonio and Lawrence Frank of Boston are on that list. Casey and Frank are also former NBA head coaches.

One team source said the Warriors have an eye on former Utah coach Jerry Sloan. But thats considered a long shot, as the legendary coach isnt expected to come out of retirement for a rebuilding franchise.
via Head coach Keith Smart is one and done with Golden State Warriors - ContraCostaTimes.com.

Those are all pretty standard choices, and the move towards a more grounded, defensive-centric coach is evident. Frank was brought in to replace Tom Thibodeau in Boston, Brown is known most notably for his defensive work. Perhaps most interesting, though, is this snippet from Kawakami later: 

Riley suggested that a new coach will have only minimal input over player personnel. He will be expected to significantly improve the defense and get into the 2012 playoffs.

 Riley has been the one splitting responsibilities with Don Nelson, and handed a new contract to David Lee. So for this to be a move towards more autonomy in decision making smells like a power grab in a vaccuum. Furthermore, how does that mesh with the pursuit of veteran coaches, most of whom are going to want significant influence over personnel? You can't hire a defensive coach, give him a bunch of defensive-liability offense-centric players and say "Go get 'em!" There's got to be some level of balance going forward. 
 
 
 
 
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