Don Nelson, who wanted TWolves job a year ago, says he is permanently retired from coaching. Insists no interest even if someone calls.
— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) August 15, 2012
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com is reporting that former Celtic Don Nelson is finished with coaching, even though he had put his name in for the Timberwolves coaching job last year. Don Nelson was a great coach but he was a great Celtic before his coaching career began.
Don Nelson is a 5 time champion with the Celtics. He came to the Celtics after playing 2 years with the Lakers. He was waived by the Celtics hated rivals and Red was smart enough to grab him off the waiver wires. Although Nelson contributed to each of the 5 championship series he played in with Boston, he is most remembered for one single shot.
The shot came in Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals against the Lakers. We all know the story of that series. The star studded Lakers were the favorites over the old and worn out Celtics. But Bill Russell and company gave it a Herculean effort and pulled the series out to send Bill Russell to retirement with one last ring. In that series, Nelson converted one of the most famous shots in playoff history. It was a foul-line jumper which hit the back rim and bounced several feet straight up before dropping through the net. The shot came with just over a minute to go in the game and the Celtics were clinging to a 103-102 lead. It was the shot that helped the Celtics seal their 11th title in 13 seasons. The Celtics retired his #19 jersey in 1978.
After his playing career, Nellie put together one of the greatest coaching careers in NBA history. As a coach, he was an innovator. Nellie was the first to use the concept of the point forward. Today many teams at every level use this concept. His very different brand of basketball has often been referred to as Nellie Ball. There's a lot of running and not a lot of defense played in Nellie Ball. A great example of Nellie ball was seen in the 2007 playoffs when his 8th seed Warriors knocked off the #1 seed Mavericks.
He was named one of the Top 10 coaches in NBA history. In 2010, he passed Lenny Wilkens for first place on the all-time NBA wins list with 1,333 wins. His all-time win-loss record is 1,335 wins to 1,063 losses for a .557 win percentage. Nellie was one of a kind as a coach and it will be a bit sad that we won't be seeing Nellie Ball out there any more. On March 29, 2012 it was announced Nellie he will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, a very fitting honor for a great career.
While I also was/am a Nelson fan, I never longed for him to coach the Celtics. I like their defensive tenacity and think the time for eschewing defense for pure offense is past, or at least ineffective.