HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – As if things weren’t interesting enough for the Golden State Warriors this season, former Warriors coach Don Nelson is weighing in now.
And if there is any validity to what he has to say, more on that in a second, then the new ownership situation for the Warriors couldn’t have come at a better time.
In a Monday night interview on “Chronicle Live” on CSN Bay Area, Nelson aired some of his own dirty laundry and that of many others. You have to read some of it to believe it, courtesy of Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle:
In his most provocative comment, Nelson seemed to say he was fired primarily for asking center Andris Biedrins to shoot his free throws underhanded. Biedrins shot an NBA-worst 16 percent in 2009-10, Nelson’s final season.
“I got fired when I asked him to (shoot underhanded),” Nelson said, and there was no follow-up question. Nelson maintained that he had Rick Barry lined up to instruct Biedrins.
That was part of Nelson’s most extensive public comments since being fired in September and his only statements since breaking his silence Feb. 3 with Ralph Barbieri and TomTolbert on KNBR. During Monday’s interview, he left open the possibility of coaching again and didn’t pull any punches about his career.
During his 31 seasons and an all-time best 1,335 wins, Nelson’s unique mind was polarizing. His legacy is seen partly as one of innovation and partly as one that emphasized style over substance.
In Nelson’s estimation, point guard Stephen Curry has taken a step back from his rookie season, and guard Monta Ellis didn’t want to accept the responsibilities of a point guard but is playing more like one than in his previous five seasons.
“I’m not planning to (coach anymore),” said Nelson, 70. “I love Maui. … I’m torn a little bit. I’ve had a couple of feelers already, just to check me out and see how I’m feeling. I don’t think that I will (coach again), but you never say, ‘never.’ “
Other quotes of interest:
– “I made the dumbest trade in my history when I traded (Mitch Richmond) for BillyOwens.”
– “I begged the (ownership) to keep Chris Webber and let me go … and I could have been in San Antonio and had Tim Duncan.”
– “I thought we should trade Patrick Ewing and whoever else it took to get Shaq (O’Neal, when Nelson was coach) in New York. The next day, someone told Patrick Ewing, and that was the end of my career there.”
That’s quite a bit of revisionist history to digest for Warriors fans. Lifelong Warriors fan and NBA TV’s Brent Barry, son of Rick, is hanging out with us here at the hideout today, on The Jump and later tonight on the set for the TNT doubleheader.
His reaction to this stuff was nothing short of classic.
“I’d rather not dive into any of that,” Bones said. “As fans, it’s time to move on.”