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Don Nelson finally elected to the Hall of Fame

Mar 29, 2012, 1:32 AM EST

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 CSNBayArea.com.

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.

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