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It's now or never for Don Nelson's record

Mar 23, 2010, 11:25 AM EDT

NBA_nelson_250.jpgIn just five more wins, Don Nelson would become the NBA’s all-time winningest coach. An amazing accomplishment.

In just 12 more games, Don Nelson is sure to be fired.

Welcome to the Golden State version of Beat The Clock.

With the announcement that the Warriors are up for sale, it became almost inevitable that a house cleaning is coming this summer. The front office staff will be gone, and while Nelson has one more year at $6 million left on his deal, the new owner almost certainly will eat that cost in order to get a fresh new start.

If you want to piss Nelson off, ask him about passing Lenny Wilkens to become the NBA’s all-time winningest coach. He won’t discuss it and will shoot you this perturbed look. Trust us, we know.

But to be that close — to have 1,328 and need just 1,332 to tie — after having been an NBA coach since 1976, there is a part of him that wants this to happen. It’s human nature. And at age 70, he’s not getting another gig, this is it. (He has said he doesn’t want another one, either.)

So the clock is ticking. A dozen games remain, he needs to win five to take the record. That’s a lot for this young Warriors team with a lot of talent but a system that never really puts teams away, and a lack of concern about defense. But then, those are things instilled by the coach, so whatever happens just may be fitting.

  1. j.d.hastings - Mar 23, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    Nelson seemed particularly distraught after last night’s heart wrenching loss, like he can feel it slipping away. Despite the pre-game news conference he gave saying how much he loved and respected Ellison and wasn’t worried for his job, he looked much more like he could feel the end coming. However, all is not lost. The Warriors still play the Clippers twice, New York, Toronto, Washington and Minnesota (5 of these on the road). There’s not a lot of margin for error, but the window is open! The only way to improve this would be if the Clippers hired Lenny Wilkens to coach those 2 games.

  2. east bay - Mar 23, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    the players hate playing for nelson. they should lose games on purpose to make sure he doesn’t break the record this season.

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