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This Nellie to Minnesota thing may actually be happening. Ye Gods.

Jul 16, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves Getty Images

If it takes two to tango, the unholy dance of David Kahn and Don Nelson together is halfway to the dance floor. After rumors popped up earlier this week of a potential meeting between the two for Nelson to take over as head coach following Kurt Rambis’ departure, Jerry Zgoda of the Minnesota Star-Tribune spoke with Nelson from his home in Maui and the 70-year-old talent-burying, beer-swilling, run-and-gun-and-run-some-more Hall of Famer made it pretty clear. He wants to coach again in Minnesota.

Don Nelson will gladly trade those breezy Hawaiian trade winds for Minnesota winters and the chance to coach again, this time with the Timberwolves.

“I think it’d be a great fit,” he said. “I love Minnesota.”

“They have an opening,” Nelson said, “and I don’t have a job.”

via NBA coaching great Don Nelson: ‘I love Minnesota’ |

Now, that’s just Nelson wanting in. But at this late stage in the game, with most of the assistants who would take a gig for a team like Minnesota already snatched up, and with veterans like Rick Adelman wanting more control over the franchise, Nelson could look pretty good to Kahn. The Wolves brought in Nelson, so there must be a level of interest to start, and since it’s reciprocated, publicly, this thing has some long legs.

Granted, those legs can’t move laterally to keep defensive position, but still.

Zgoda also spoke to Nelson about Anthony Randolph who Nelson coached as a rookie and sophomore (and buried for the most part), with Nelson saying some unflattering things, and saying the same kind of things about Michael Beasley. But Nelson believes that the Wolves need to be better defensively, and that they can be that because they have Kevin Love who rebounds. Even though that has zero impact on actually stopping easy shots. Or that Nelson hasn’t been known to help a team defensively in the past twenty years. But whatever, just go with it, he’s rolling (hopefully not literally).

Nelson is used to coaching young teams. This team’s young. He needs talented guards. He’s got one in Ricky Rubio. His teams need versatile big men. He’s got Kevin Love.

But for a fanbase that has yearned for a winner for… well, ever, Nelson has to look like a horror movie figure walking into their place as their new roommate. Dibs on the remote!

  1. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 16, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    “they have an opening, and I don’t have a job” coach speak at it’s finest. Real world translation “your fat and I’m drunk and desperate. You’ll do.”

  2. trbowman - Jul 16, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    I really, really want to see this happen.

    Earlier I suggested Sam Cassell. Thing is, I don’t know if he’d run the up-tempo offense Kahn is looking for. Cassell would definitely be able to work with the young players on Minnesota, and he’s been tutored under Flip Saunders.

  3. dmo84 - Jul 16, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Has there been any talk of Sloan returning to coaching? I doubt the Wolves job would interest him, but at least he could stick it to the Jazz four times a year.

  4. hook66 - Jul 17, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Can’t get worse.

  5. lebronsinsecurity - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:16 AM

    If it’s the Nellie we know from the Dallas Maverick days with Nash and Dirk than fine, it could work..If it’s the Nellie from GS that gave up on his team and started binge drinking, than no thank you.. It’s hard to tell how dedicate and motivated he’s be.. I guess the one positive would be that no matter how much he doesn’t like coaching youngsters, he’d have no choice, the whole team is youngsters…

  6. gs7101 - Jul 17, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    It’s laughable that the Timberwolves’ management is even considering Don Nelson. No way in hell should Nellie get this job; he’s done coaching in the NBA!

  7. antiochcat - Jul 17, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Reminds me of that old SNL bit: ‘The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.’ All Nellie did in his ‘storied’ carrier was bring the Bucks to the brink of a championship, but nope. Managed to screw up the best (and original) Big 3 in the game (Run TMC) by driving one of the best forwards the Warriors ever had out of town, and then traded Mitch Richmond in his prime. And let’s not even get into his questionable draft decisions. The guy should be forbidden by law to coach an NBA franchise.

    • Justin - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:15 AM

      Good points but I would guess Kahn wouldn’t give him the power to make trade and draft decisions. Sure he would have input but not complete power

  8. jebdamone - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    this should be an exciting train wreck to watch.

  9. reptar24 - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    When has the fast break style ever worked in the NBA? Get a defensive coach, for the love of God.

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