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Don Nelson finally elected to the Hall of Fame

Mar 29, 2012, 1:32 AM EDT

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves Getty Images

He’s deserved this for a while and it’s finally going to happen.

Don Nelson is going to go into the Hall of Fame, reports

The announcement will be made official Monday, but Nelson confirmed he got the call Wednesday morning to ESPN.

“It’s a great honor to cap my career,” Nelson said. “I’ve had a great time and a great life coaching basketball. I don’t actually need to be rewarded for anything, but I am very proud and my family is very proud of this award.”

Anyone who tries to equate Nelson with only his final few years in Golden State does not know the history of the man.

A man who happens to be the winningest coach in NBA history — 1,335 wins and a .557 winning percentage. That doesn’t happen by accident.

He was an offensive innovator who shunned conventional wisdom to come up with things like small ball and developing running offenses. He was a master of creating mismatches and exploiting them. While basketball can get to bogged down in coaches focusing on schemes to ugly up the games to get wins, he focused on opening it up and it led to entertaining basketball. He was a three time coach of the year in the NBA, and don’t forget he is also a legendary Celtics player who has his No. 19 hanging in the rafters at the Garden.

Oh, and he invented hack-a-Shaq. We’ll forgive him for that one.

This is a well-deserved honor. Enshrinement for Nelson and the other people elected in this class will be in September.

  1. drunkenjunk - Mar 29, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    He also helped make the Mavs relevant and for that I’ll always be grateful.

  2. cosanostra71 - Mar 29, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    I’m of the opinion Nelly is one of the more overrated coaches. for all those regular season wins he never won a championship…

  3. Nadeem - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Congrats to Nelly. Its high time they enshrine Pop as well.

    • bozosforall - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      Pop is way overrated. Without Tim Duncan, he wins nothing.

      • tcclark - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        you can say that about any great coach

        Jackson – Jordan, Pippen, Kobe
        Auerbach – Russel, Havlicek, Cousy, Sharman, Jones, etc.
        Riley – Johnson, Abdul Jabbar, Worthy

        Give me a great coach who didn’t have great players

      • bozosforall - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        The difference is that Pop doesn’t have to deal with an ego with Duncan, while Jackson managed huge egos in Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, Shaq, Rodman, etc.

        Auerbach won while manipulating the rules in an 8-team league.

        Riley also had to deal with egos on his teams.

        Larry Brown, great coach, mediocre Pistons team that won an NBA championship.

      • tcclark - Mar 29, 2012 at 6:33 PM

        That’s what makes Pop great. Pop has created an atmosphere where you leave your ego at the door. Pop won a championship with Stephen Jackson on his roster. Yeah Stephen Jackson. The guy that the Bucks were trying to give away because his personality clashed with Scott Skiles. He, among other players, found his place on the team and Pop managed the egos.

        As for Larry Brown, I am probably the biggest Larry Brown fan out their, but that “Mediocre” Pistons team went to the Eastern Conference Finals the year before Brown got their, and went again the year after he left. Billups, Hamilton, and the Wallaces were all-stars and Prince was always really good too. That team had great players

      • bozosforall - Mar 29, 2012 at 6:38 PM

        Let’s see Pop win without Duncan. That chicken will probably retire when Duncan does.

      • tcclark - Mar 29, 2012 at 6:49 PM

        Lets see Jackson win without Kobe. Let’s see Auerbach win without the 10 Hall of Famers he had (I know he’s dead). Let’s see Larry Brown win with the Bobcats… oh wait he already failed at that. Great Coaches can’t win without great players, just like great players can’t win without great coaches. you need a combination

      • bozosforall - Mar 29, 2012 at 6:52 PM

        Pop is STILL overrated. He won nothing before Duncan and won’t win anything once he’s gone.

      • tcclark - Mar 29, 2012 at 7:48 PM

        I can see that I’m not going to change your mind. You might want to work on at least listening to other’s points of view. Some of us have some valid points

      • bozosforall - Mar 29, 2012 at 8:48 PM

        You might want to follow your own advice. I also have valid points. And until Pop wins a title without Duncan, he will always be considered to have won the ones that he has on Duncan’s coattails.

      • tcclark - Mar 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM

        where are your valid points? I see one post that has any sort of a point. The rest of them have been you repeating some bull crap that he hasn’t won anything without Duncan. when did it become easy to win 3 championships? I don’t care if you have Duncan. Jerry Sloan never won a championship with Stockton and Malone

      • bozosforall - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:21 PM

        Duncan is much greater than Stockton or Malone. He is a winner. Duncan won those titles, not Pop.

      • tcclark - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:02 AM

        he might be better, not much better, but better. with that being said though, hes not better than both of them together

      • bozosforall - Mar 30, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        Duncan is a winner. The other two are not. That is the difference.

      • tcclark - Mar 30, 2012 at 9:43 AM

        That’s just ridiculous. Had it not been for Jordan and Pippen, Stockton and Malone would’ve had at least 2 rings. I mean Olajuwon was a winner too, but he only won when Jordan was off playing Baseball. Karl Malone is already regarded as one of the best, if not the best, power forward of all time, you can only imagine what his legacy would have been if it had not been for the Bulls

        and there’s no shame in losing to 3 hall of famers and a guy with 11 championship rings

      • bozosforall - Mar 30, 2012 at 10:13 AM

        You can play the IF game until eternity. Fact remains that until Pop wins with someone other than Duncan, he is considered a coattail rider. Come back when he does so.

      • tcclark - Mar 30, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        Ok so I’ll go back to my original point. Until (Insert Championship Winning Coach here) wins without great players, they’ll be considered a coattail rider too.

        And who are you to say that Duncan would’ve ever won without Pop? Popovich threw out dominate defensive teams the years they won those championships and it’s not because Tim Duncan is this amazing NBA defender (he’s good, but not good enough to make the entire team best in the league). The fact is, we don’t know who made who because they’ve never been without each other. Who’s to say that Duncan is half the player he is without Pop as his coach?

        The truth is, we’ll never know, but for you to call out one of the great coaches in the history of the NBA and say that he rode on the coattails of a great player is just ignorant. Duncan is a shell of his former self right now. He got a DND the other night for being “old.” But the Spurs are still legitimate Championship contenders because of Popovich and his system. I don’t know who you’re a fan of, but open your eyes and become a basketball fan. Greg Popovich has been a phenomenal coach for over 15 years. He’s won 4 NBA championships and been an NBA Coach of the Year. I’m no where near a Spurs fan, but i’ve argued with you for a day now about this man, because he deserves a lot more respect than you’re giving him.

      • bozosforall - Mar 30, 2012 at 8:12 PM

        The others did it with different superstars. Pop only with Duncan. Until he does it with someone else, he isn’t in their league.

  4. allball23 - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Larry brown. Wallaces, hamilton, billups. No great players. Whole is greater than the sum of the parts

    • tcclark - Mar 29, 2012 at 6:44 PM

      all four of them have been to at least 3 all-star games. Billups has a better Hall of Fame resume than Reggie Miller (seriously compare them). Hamilton has been one of the most consistent scorers in the NBA for the past 11 years. Rasheed Wallace was the heart and soul of that team, and Ben Wallace has been the Defensive Player of the Year more times than anyone except Dikembe Mutombo who also has 4. They were great players making up an even better team.

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