The world according to Nellie, In his own words.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:58 pm
Janny Hu,

Sunday, October 29, 2006
Right from the (re)start, we knew it would be fun.

Within an hour of his official (re)introduction as Warriors head coach, Don Nelson had ragged on Run TMC, called Chris Webber his biggest nightmare and given reporters a medical lesson in PSA counts.

The 66-year-old coach had beaten prostate cancer. Now it was time to beat the losing out of Golden State.

On Nelson's docket: challenging players to make their free throws, issuing fines for stepping out of bounds on shot attempts, and making them run laps as punishment for both.

The result: Baron Davis is in shape, Mike Dunleavy's confidence is growing, and Mickael Pietrus, Dajuan Wagner, Patrick O'Bryant and Anthony Roberson are enjoying turns as the flavor of the week.

As the Warriors get set for Wednesday's season opener, here's a (re)view of all that was Nellie, in his own words, during training camp.



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Re: His quest to reverse the Warriors' bad habits:
"As far as I'm concerned, a bad decision is trying to do something you can't do. And there are a lot of guys who tried to do that last year, and I'm trying to eliminate that. If it's something that's going to put them on the bench, I'm telling them, 'Don't do it.'

"You can work on it in practice, but don't make errors where I'm going to take you out of the game if you want to be on the floor. Don't be risky. Don't even attempt it, you know? Save it."



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Re: His memories from the old days with Golden State:
"I don't remember how many 50-win seasons we had, but I think there were quite a few. We went from the worst to one of the best, and that was all exciting. You look at it all as a wonderful experience. There was that time at the end with the (Chris) Webber thing and I got fired. That wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be."



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Re: Those infamous run-ins with past players:
"Chris Webber. Patrick Ewing, John Starks in New York. That's three guys, in what, almost 30 years? That's not too bad.

"Chris Webber was going to be a problem. He wasn't going to report. And I said 'Look, let's solve the problem. Get rid of me and then he's got no reason not to come back. It's really simple.'

"And I had another job. I could have gone to San Antonio after that. My good friend (Gregg) Popovich was the GM and that would have been a marriage made in heaven. And their draft pick was Tim Duncan. But anyway, I didn't get to go and Pop took the team over and you know what he's done."



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Re: When he knew he was toast in New York:
"When the players were basically more in charge with what was going on than the coach. ... I asked (Ewing) to share the low post with Anthony Mason and he wouldn't do it. He said 'No.'

" 'Well, we'd like to post you on the left side and Anthony on the right side. That way you've got your jumper you love and he's got his left hand in the middle.' I said it could really be good for us.

" 'Nope, I want both blocks. I ain't sharing nothing.'

"I said, 'What if it helps us win lots of games and maybe win a title?'

" 'I'll win a title with both blocks.'

"I said, 'Really? OK, well then.'

"Then it leaked out. I thought we had a chance to get (Shaquille O'Neal) in New York. And I made a comment that I thought we could have traded Ewing for Shaq right before the Lakers got him. Shaq would play in two places, New York or L.A., and I let it be known that we should pursue that. I knew Shaq would come to New York or L.A.

"It got back to Ewing and I was cooked."



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Re: The difficulty of coaching young teams:
"First of all, I would prefer to coach good players. Then, if I had good players, I would prefer to coach good, veteran players. But I don't have that situation here. I have good young players here.

"So there's a certain amount of frustration for me, because in Milwaukee and here before and in Dallas, after you go through the hard times, now you have the veterans and you can play at a different level. And I got to go back to coaching a young team.

"I want it to happen this year and I'm not sure it's going to happen. I have to be patient with a young team and I'm not a very patient guy at 66 years old. I don't have many years left to be patient."



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Re: What that means for his young guys:
"I'm going to get them their minutes. It's going to be tougher on me if they don't do what I need them to do, or if they make mistakes that cost us games. But if I didn't play young guys on this team, I wouldn't have anybody to play."



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Re: Monta Ellis and Ike Diogu taking the next step:
"Young players, whether it's Monta or Ike, the real young players, those guys have figured out how to control their guy and do something one-on-one, but five-on-five is a whole different game. It's just not you against your guy.

"Ike is very good against his guy. But there's a whole bunch of stuff that's going to happen that's going to complicate the game. And the same with Monta. They're going to take his strength away and make him go to his weakness. Or make him go to the double-team down in the low box. He has to learn how to deal with those things."



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Re: His close relationship with Warriors VP Chris Mullin:
"He had to feel comfortable (bringing me back) because he had to put his butt on the line for me. I'm sure he had some talking to do to Chris (Cohan). I don't think it was as easy as just saying yes and it was over ...

"But he was the main reason I came back. I had to like the team a little bit too. Losing is so hard, for me or anybody, that if it was a total rebuilding, or something more than three years, I wouldn't have been as excited. I thought they were starting to get ready as a team to take the next step.



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Re: His strained relationship with Dallas owner Mark Cuban:
"We didn't get along the last few years, that's probably true. It wasn't an enjoyable experience for me and so I moved on. It's pretty simple. I actually like Mark a lot. I don't think he likes me, but I like him a lot. He's been good to me, good to my family. It was really just me thinking it's time for me to move on rather than be in a position where you're not totally happy.

"Just the last couple of years, we just didn't really communicate. ... We had a hard negotiation my last contract there and things were never the same. And there are some (other) reasons and I'll just keep it to myself."



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Re: The theory behind small ball:
"It's pretty simple. You want to try to get your best players on the court as much as possible, and when your best players are small players, it's a way to keep them on the floor. No big secret here."



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Re: The ability of up-tempo teams to win championships:
"I don't know. I got no crystal ball here. I know we won titles in Boston when I was a player and we averaged 120-something points a game winning titles, but we had a guy named Bill Russell.

"I think my team is just a Bill Russell away from having a shot at it."



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Re: His unabashed love for rookie Patrick O'Bryant:
"O'Bryant holds the key to our future. That guy is going to be very good. You get a 7-footer talented like that, who understands, is bright ... the only thing he doesn't have is experience. He's never been in great shape before -- his conditioning, he doesn't even know what it is to get to the next level -- and he's got about three levels to go. Once he gets to there and his body matures, he's going to be sensational."



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Re: Andris Biedrins and his notorious free-throw shooting:
"I can drop-kick free throws in better than he can make them."



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Re: Hearing that Lakers coach Phil Jackson was surprised by Nelson's return:
"I was surprised that he came back. Our salaries are a little different, I might add. I'm certainly not complaining. Don't put me in the (Latrell) Sprewell category. I'm not crying, but I'm not buying either."



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Re: Whether losses become easier to take:
"It gets harder actually. I don't remember how I handled it when I was young, but I'm sure better. I can't drink as much scotch now. When I was younger I could drink more."



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E-mail Janny Hu
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:16 pm
O.G. broe wrote:Re: Andris Biedrins and his notorious free-throw shooting:
"I can drop-kick free throws in better than he can make them."



LOL this guy nellie is a genius :D
i wonder if he makes fun of the players ahha
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:22 pm
Don Nelson wrote:I asked (Ewing) to share the low post with Anthony Mason and he wouldn't do it. He said 'No.'

" 'Well, we'd like to post you on the left side and Anthony on the right side. That way you've got your jumper you love and he's got his left hand in the middle.' I said it could really be good for us.

" 'Nope, I want both blocks. I ain't sharing nothing.'

"I said, 'What if it helps us win lots of games and maybe win a title?'

" 'I'll win a title with both blocks.'

What a dick. :shock: I never knew Patrick Ewing was a selfish prick.

Don Nelson wrote:I thought we had a chance to get (Shaquille O'Neal) in New York. And I made a comment that I thought we could have traded Ewing for Shaq right before the Lakers got him. Shaq would play in two places, New York or L.A., and I let it be known that we should pursue that. I knew Shaq would come to New York or L.A.

This would have turned NY into a powerhouse. The Knicks should have listened to Nelly.

Don Nelson wrote:"O'Bryant holds the key to our future. That guy is going to be very good. You get a 7-footer talented like that, who understands, is bright ... the only thing he doesn't have is experience. He's never been in great shape before -- his conditioning, he doesn't even know what it is to get to the next level -- and he's got about three levels to go. Once he gets to there and his body matures, he's going to be sensational."

I seriously hope so. I, like Nelly, think O'Bryant has all the tools to be an amazing player. He's got the size, the agility, AND the ability to learn well & quickly.

I just don't see the Kandi Man thing. I really don't.

PhaNxTasY wrote:LOL this guy nellie is a genius :D
i wonder if he makes fun of the players ahha

:crazy:
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:25 pm
#32 wrote:
PhaNxTasY wrote:LOL this guy nellie is a genius :D
i wonder if he makes fun of the players ahha

:crazy:

:oops:
well i mean during practice or is he really serious during practice because nellie is a funny guy when it comes to the media
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:27 pm
I'm sure he's serious when he's talking about Biedrins free throws. One of the finer things about Nelly is that he's blunt and honest to his players; never sugarcoats anything or tries to break it to them easy.

If Biedrins blows at free throws, Nelly will make sure everyone (especially Biedrins) knows it. It won't get fixed if it's left in the dark... thats why Nelly challenges his players (sometimes through the media).

And if you're wondering whether or not Nelly insults his players at practice... I dunno if he straight up insults them, but he's certainly brash in his approach.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:56 pm
maybe thats why nellie is respected. not because he can get wins on the board, but also because he is able to bring the best out of his players. Something that mike montgomery wasnt able to do. i never really thought about that before. :D
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:44 pm
What a revelation. Good point.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:58 pm
Don nelson knows his ability and his honesty is a plus if seen the right way. He is only here short term so I don't think there will be a championship but hopefully his legacy can stick this time
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 4:39 am
I'd like to read the Knicks take on that story... no one is always right and the rest of the world always wrong...
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:25 am
Re: Andris Biedrins and his notorious free-throw shooting:
"I can drop-kick free throws in better than he can make them."

All good humor has major truth, like Shakespeare's court jester - funny shiznit...btw, I am intrigued at how positive he is on O'Bryant. I also think it is clear he recognizes the strengths of monta and Ike, while telling them he needs them to round their games...
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