Mar 23, 2010, 11:25 AM EDT
In 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.
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