Don Nelson, or “Nellie”, as he is known in many circles, hung up his clipboard and retired from his gig as an NBA head coach two seasons ago. Although the 72 year-old is currently living it up on the Hawaiian Islands with his family, a permanent vacation for the NBA’s most winningest coach of all-time may not have been his first choice. A report from the Sacramento Bee suggests that the soon-to-be hall of fame head coach wanted to stay in the league as the coach for the…. wait for it…. Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves head coaching slot was one that Nelson wanted badly before it was given to Rick Adelman.
It seems as if Don Nelson was fascinated with the way that European ballers play the game. “I would love to have coached Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love”. Don was sick of the one-on-one style of basketball that he once coached to a T and wished to make a switch to more skilled, team play, with the likes of Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love.
It was also said that Nelson stays in contact with Dirk Nowitzki and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban. Never the less, “Nellie” insists that his win total will remain 1,335.
Don Nelson still holds his former teams, The Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors (not the Knicks) in high regard, even speaking about some of his good times with the Bucks in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
“It wasn’t meant to be,” Nelson said Wednesday morning. “My (Milwaukee) Bucks teams kept running into those great Boston Celtics and Philadelphia Sixers clubs. Bird, McHale, Parish. Erving, Cheeks, Malone. But what are you going to do? I’ve had a great life. I still have a great life.”
Don Nelson will be inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame on September 7 and his journey as an NBA coach seems to have run it’s course. But, you never know. Maybe the right situation will present itself down the road.