Where, exactly, is Nelson taking the Warriors?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:32 am
Haven't seen this article posted anywhere, so here it goes.

Where, exactly, is Nelson taking the Warriors?

Scott Ostler

(12-03) 19:21 PST OAKLAND -- The Warriors are a strange basketball team.

The last two seasons, they were strange and wonderful. This season, they're just strange.

Strange is expected when Don Nelson is your coach. It's part of his charm. If you want conventional, you don't hire this man, then boost his contract twice in two years.

But strange is often confusing, and right now there are many burning and itching questions. Where are the Warriors going? How will they get there? Once they get there, how will they get out?

We know they're not going to the playoffs. Nelson made that clear in New York over the weekend, telling the media that this is not a playoff team.

That was an odd statement, just 16 games into the season. Nobody is disputing Nelson's logic, but why go to the trouble to make that point?

Two seasons ago, he made a similar statement and, perhaps coincidentally, it was the takeoff point for a glorious run to the playoffs. Surely his recent statements weren't meant to be motivational. Not that the Warriors are inspiration-proof. A good motivational ploy by Nelson, along with bringing back Baron Davis, truly might spark another playoff run.

Surely Nelson's not bailing on his team already.

"If it was any other coach I've played for, I'd say that" he's bailing on the team, Stephen Jackson said Wednesday. "But Coach would never bail out on his players."

Not as a team, maybe. Individually, Nelson is a serial bailer-outer. He seems to want the kids to succeed, but a young player makes a few mistakes and he's back on the bench, for the rest of the night, or week, or season.

For the Warriors to achieve relevance, they need help from the likes of Brandan Wright, Anthony Randolph and Anthony Morrow. Those players will emerge only if given playing time.

I asked Nelson on Wednesday if his we're-not-a-playoff-team statement signaled more playing time for the young players.

"I would say there's already been a commitment to the young players," Nelson said. "We've got five of them on the team, I think."

But what about letting them play through slumps? There are reports that some of the young players are unhappy with the inconsistency of playing time.

"Part of that is a teaching tool," Nelson said. "I couldn't tell you I'm going to let a guy screw up too many times and not take him out of the game, but I'll put him back in, correct him. Within reason (players should be allowed to make mistakes), yeah, but also, you want to make sure that the guy is developing, and you don't hurt his chances by giving him too many gifts, he's also got to earn it. So it's kind of a delicate line. I'd say yeah, within reason, I can accept some mistakes, as long as they're not repeated too often."

Sounds definitive.

Morrow started five games, played like an All-Star for the first two, then cooled off, possibly because teammates stopped passing him the ball. In two of the last four games, he hasn't been off the bench. This is a guy who, on a team that often lives or dies by the three-pointer, might be the best three-ball shooter.

There are fans and others who wonder, seriously, if Nelson is doing all this to get himself fired, so he can take a huge buyout and move on down the road, to another team or back to Maui.

That's crazy conjecture, but with Nelson, almost no scenario is unthinkable.

One would guess that Nelson's bosses, Robert Rowell and Chris Mullin, know this team isn't going to the playoffs and therefore would like to see the young players play more, to build for the future and to keep fans enthused (see: San Francisco Giants). So is Nelson defying headquarters?

Part of the Nelson package is that he always leaves plenty of room for guesswork by fans, co-workers and other interested observers.

Will Nelson coach out the remaining two-plus seasons on his contract, working into his 70s? Will he even finish this season?

Or is he game-to-game?

In the Warriors' 13-point loss to the Knicks on Saturday, Nelson walked off the court with more than 10 seconds left in the game. Remember when Randy Moss staged a similar exit? He got roasted. Charged with desertion.

Nelson, asked about the early departure, shrugged it off, said jokingly to a writer, "If it bothers you, I won't do it again."

On the same trip, the Warriors held three practices, and at two of them, Nelson either didn't attend or he dashed out before the traditional end-of-practice gab-fest with the media.

The Warriors won't be going to the playoffs, but their mystery journey to somewhere will be interesting to watch. Interesting, and strange.


Discuss...
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:39 am
Nelson's a dikhed this season
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migya make the ring fall on ya
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:43 am
Brilliant article..............exactly how I feel, adressing the most pressing/baffling issues............unfortunately perfect. :cry:

Seriously, f*ck Nelson.............I literally hate him now, never thought I would say that.

This seriously pisses me off =

Nelson, asked about the early departure, shrugged it off, said jokingly to a writer, "If it bothers you, I won't do it again."

On the same trip, the Warriors held three practices, and at two of them, Nelson either didn't attend or he dashed out before the traditional end-of-practice gab-fest with the media.


Anyway, I save more comments for when this appears in Warrior Basketball in a few hours. :wink:
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:36 am
bigstrads wrote:Anyway, I save more comments for when this appears in Warrior Basketball in a few hours. :wink:


You have faith in our members being able to realize there's more than one forum, I see... :mrgreen:
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:20 pm
Nelson staying onboard

Coach Don Nelson says he has every intention of finishing out the three seasons left on his contract - rebuilding project and all.

"Absolutely," said the 68-year-old, who signed a two-year, $12 million extension last month. "It means that there's no pressure not to do it the right way, not to do this job the right way ...

"I've built teams wherever I've been with the exception of New York, including this one twice. So it's not new to me. You have to have an understanding that you can struggle. You just don't want to struggle more than one year at a time if you can help it. You can resolve things and build a team in which you're a contender."

Ellis update: Injured guard Monta Ellis will meet today with Warriors athletic trainer Tom Abdenour to begin mapping out Ellis' on-court rehabilitation. The 23-year-old has yet to do basketball-related drill work since having the screws in his left ankle removed about two weeks ago.

"Monta's the wild card," Nelson said. "I really don't know when he's coming back. I don't know how long it's going to take. Once he gets on the court doesn't mean he's going to be the Monta of a year ago. It's still probably going to be a month or so before he can get up to speed."

Ellis is suspended until Dec. 17.

One in, one out: The Warriors got Stephen Jackson (sprained left wrist) back from a one-game injury absence, only to lose Kelenna Azubuike to a sprained left foot.

Azubuike apparently injured himself in Saturday's game against the Knicks, though he played 37 minutes and finished with 13 points and four rebounds.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 14FIKM.DTL
Wish List

*New Owner and Management =D>
*Trade Monta
*Trade Maggette =D>
*Tank the season, get the top pick and draft Harrison Barnes
to be continued...
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:44 am
I, too, question Nelson and the management's direction of this team. We've got a string of solid young players, yet... we see an inconsistent trend of them not playing at times when they should. When will they get the time to develop and learn?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:03 am
he certainly has different rules for rookies and vets when regarding "mistakes"

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