Authored by Payam Jahromi - 12th September, 2006 - 8:14 pm
The re-hiring of Don Nelson is exactly what the Warriors needed.
After last year’s dud of a season, and after a quiet off-season in which the team failed to land Al Harrington, the Warriors finally made a splash.
Most Warriors fans like the decision to bring Nellie back. Some don’t. I love it.
With the exception of trading for Kevin Garnett, I can’t think of a bigger move the Warriors could have made to improve the team.
This is ten times better and more important than if they would have landed Harrington. Let me explain.
First, the Warriors were going nowhere with Mike Montgomery. Whether that is all Monty’s fault or the players or both, it doesn’t matter. It just wasn’t working with him.
Second, as a team the Warriors did not have an identity last year. It’s one thing to be bad, but at least know who you are. Nobody knew if the Warriors were trying to be a running team, a defensive team, a halfcourt team, etc…
Nelson’s teams always have an identity. There is no question the Warriors will have a style that everyone will identify with – almost certainly they will be a running team.
Third, Nelson will command the respect of the players that Monty couldn’t. This is not a knock on Montgomery’s coaching skills or leadership abilities. But the truth is, he had no NBA coaching experience and the players knew that.
Nelson has a ton of experience, and he instantly has more credibility. Whether that’s fair or not is not the point. Nelson could say the exact same thing Montgomery did, but how the players react to it could and will be different.
Finally, and most important of all, Nelson is a great coach. Some coaches are great motivators, some specialize in player relationships. Nelson is one of the best in-game coaches out there.
Last season, the Warriors lost something like 13 or 14 games by three points or less. A lot of that falls on in-game coaching decisions. Nelson will help them in that area immediately.
Nelson has always made the best of what he’s had, and he’s always found a way to create mismatches on the floor, especially when he didn’t have a big man..
By now, we’ve heard plenty about how Nellie’s style will benefit Baron Davis and Jason Richardson, and even Troy Murphy.
But I think his impact could really help some of the younger players. Mickael Pietrus, who was lost last year, could be the most improved player on the team. Andris Biedrins, Ike Diogu and Monta Ellis could also have breakout seasons.
The possibilities are exciting. It was the perfect move. Chris Mullin had backed Montgomery after last season, but he didn’t stick to his word. And that’s a sign of a good GM if you ask me If you can get better in any area, you do it.
Mullin has made some bad moves, no doubt about it. But say what you want about him, at least he’s willing to admit a mistake. Maybe not verbally, but trading Derek Fisher for nothing and letting go of Montgomery is admitting two mistakes.
Hiring Don Nelson will not be one of those mistakes.
If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Discuss anything related to Golden State Warriors basketball here