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kriD
02-18-2006, 09:42 AM
Nellie honored as Hall of Fame finalist

By ART GARCIA
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

HOUSTON -- Don Nelson's contributions to the game of basketball don't need the validation of the Hall of Fame. But he's likely to get it, anyway.

The former Mavericks coach, less than a year into his retirement, is one of 16 finalists for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

"I'm humbled by the nomination," Nelson said Friday by phone from Maui. "I just wish my mother were alive to witness this.

"Who would have ever thought a farm boy from Illinois would ever be nominated for the Hall of Fame? Unbelievable."

The Class of 2006 will be announced April 3 before the men's NCAA Championship Game in Indianapolis. Nelson is a finalist for the first time.

His humility is understandable. His credentials are staggering.

"Even if he never played 14 years in the league, his coaching alone would be enough for the Hall of Fame," said Del Harris, an assistant under Nelson with the Mavs and Milwaukee.

Nelson -- who has more than 42 years of NBA experience as a player, coach, general manager and consultant -- has the second-most coaching victories in NBA history with 1,190, including a franchise-record 339 with the Mavs. He's one of only two coaches in NBA history to record 250 victories with three franchises and won the Coach of the Year award three times.

Nelson, 65, also coached the second Dream Team to a gold medal in the 1994 World Championships, won five NBA titles as a player in Boston and had his No. 19 retired by the Celtics.

"He's a natural Hall of Famer, someone who's played in the league and coached in the league for, what, 40 years," said Steve Nash, the reigning MVP who played five years for Nelson.

"The guy was a part of writing the illegal defense rules. He's been an innovator as a coach, as a player he was a champion. Unbelievable. I have a big, huge, warm place in my heart for Nellie and everything he taught me."

Nelson said the recognition "touched his heart." Obviously, he touched those of his players.

"Nellie meant so much to me, so I'm a big fan of his and always will be," Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "He was the guy that got me over here. He supported me from the beginning. He gave me a lot of confidence. He gave me playing time from the beginning where maybe I didn't even deserve it.

"His basketball knowledge is so great. He did it as a player. He did it as a coach, so for me, it's a no-brainer."

Many speculate that Nelson's return to coaching is also a slam dunk. Nelson resigned from the Mavs on March 19 and became a consultant with the team.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban continued to honor Nelson's coaching contract, which pays more than $5 million per year but expires after this season. Nelson has been linked to possible openings in Sacramento, Seattle and Golden State.

"I'm not planning on it at this particular moment," he said of coaching. "I've been in New Zealand. I'm in Maui. I'm having the time of my life."

Among the other Hall finalists are Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, Joe Dumars, former Mavs forward Adrian Dantley, Ralph Sampson, former Purdue coach Gene Keady, current Connecticut women's coach Geno Auriemma and broadcaster Dick Vitale.

The "new class" will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass., in September. Finalists need 18 of 24 votes from the Hall's Honors Committee for election.

chumdawg
02-18-2006, 05:53 PM
Thank providence that the Mavericks organization was privileged enough to be touched by the genius of this once-in-a-lifetime basketball mind.

Five-ofan
02-19-2006, 05:28 PM
Well deserved.

#1MavsFan
02-19-2006, 07:02 PM
Glad to see it happening, he did a lot for us

atrewsfan
02-19-2006, 08:00 PM
Is it accurate to say that Nelson was the originator of the "small ball" style of game? I haven't been around that long so I wouldn't know if say the 60's Celtics played that way or whatever.

MavKikiNYC
02-20-2006, 11:17 AM
If I'm reading this correctly, he's been nominated but not named yet, right?

Inductees won't be named until 3 April.

At least he's a finalist though.

Drbio
02-20-2006, 12:05 PM
Correct kiki....nominated.

He has probably earned induction though imho.

MavKikiNYC
02-23-2006, 02:07 AM
Nellie for the Hall is tough to defend
10:09 PM CST on Wednesday, February 22, 2006

http://www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/img/standing/sports/columnists/mugs/mug_cowlishaw.jpg (http://www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/spt/columnists/tcowlishaw/vitindex.html)It's not as if Don Nelson's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame would disgrace the joint or anything like that. As Hall of Fames go, it's a bigger wreck than all of the rest already.

It's simply that the former Mavericks coach and general manager is now on the ballot for the Hall and could find himself enshrined in Springfield, Mass., later this year.

And I think that would be a mistake.

Nothing personal here. You don't find many better guys to spend time with at the top of the coaching profession than Don Nelson.

And he does have some skins on the wall with those 1,190 victories. He and Pat Riley are the only men named NBA Coach of the Year three times. He took two franchises to conference championship series. He was unquestionably an innovator as a coach.

There is that one gap, though.

In 27 seasons with Milwaukee, Golden State, New York (briefly) and Dallas, Nelson never coached in the NBA Finals.

His best teams in Milwaukee were blocked either by the Dr. J Sixers or the Bird Celtics.

His Warriors teams, though highly entertaining, never made a dent in the postseason, winning just a pair of first-round playoff series.

In Dallas, he rebuilt a franchise that had earned the label of worst in pro sports in the '90s, challenged only by the Los Angeles-St. Louis Rams in terms of winning percentage.

Again, the team's entertainment value exceeded its postseason potential, although the Mavericks reached the Western Conference Finals – Nelson's first team to advance that far in 17 years – in 2003.

Too often, the things that made a Nelson team successful over the course of an 82-game season worked against it in the shorter, more defensively-demanding playoffs.

And one has to look at Avery Johnson's remarkable record since replacing Nelson – 58-13 entering today's game with Memphis – and note that this team has not made dramatic roster changes in the past year other than at the top of the coaching staff.

What Nelson has going for him is that he lasted just about forever in this league, even while battling his own and his wife's bouts with cancer. And he even hinted on a recent radio show that he might take another crack at coaching in the NBA despite enjoying his golden parachute role as a Mavericks consultant.

One way to examine a person's Hall of Fame worthiness, imperfect but sometimes instructive, is to look at who's in and who isn't.

All of the NBA coaches from Nelson's era that are in – Larry Brown, Chuck Daly, Len Wilkens, Jack Ramsay – won NBA titles. Nelson won more games than all but Wilkens.

But the ring is missing.

Dick Motta, who won a title in Washington and built the Mavericks team that John MacLeod coached into the conference finals, is not in the Hall.

Although baseball's and the Pro Football Hall of Fame have come under fire in this space and elsewhere for a variety of reasons, they are no match for the insanity of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

David Moore, longtime NBA writer, was one of the 24 voters for a few years in the '90s. There were no meetings of voters. In fact, he never knew who the other 23 were, and the Hall never instructed him on what criteria to consider.

It's all in the eye of the beholder here, and the people running it don't tell anyone who the beholders are. That makes predicting whether Nelson or anybody else has a good chance to be inducted a total guess.

It's possible that Nelson's five NBA titles as a Celtics player will raise his Hall profile even though he was a good, not great player for Boston.

Maybe Nelson's mistake, if he fails to get in, was never having coached in college. The Hall of Fame, which makes no distinction between pros, colleges, women and foreign players, tilts heavily toward the college game.

Temple's John Chaney – very similar to Nelson with a long history of winning but no Final Four trips – is still coaching. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame five years ago.

MavKikiNYC
02-23-2006, 02:23 AM
Disagree with Cowlishaw. Seems like he's gone out of his way a bit to write something unnecessary.

While I would be the first to point out that Nellie never coached a team to the NBA Finals (let alone won a championship ring as a coach), and that his replacement by Avery was at least a year overdue, and that his "transition" to consultant may be every bit as important to the future of the franchise as his original hiring....

He's worthy of being in the HOF. 40 years as a player, coach, GM. Contributor on championship teams as a player. Innovator (though perhaps somewhat overrated) as a coach. Evaluator of talent. Resurrector of franchises.

He's been a very significant figure in the NBA over the last 30 years, as the league's popularity expanded domestically and globally. As far as the HOF goes, the lack of a ring should be just a curiosity. Plenty of great players to recognize, who never got the ring either--Lanier, Ewing, Stockton, Malone, Gervin, Gilmore, Barkley just to name a few.

And for that matter, Motta deserves to be in as well. Sure he was a dick to the press, but that shouldn't keep his contribution from being recognized.

The more valid point that Cowlishaw makes is about the silliness of the process. If the Basketball HOF prides itself on reflecting the history and signficant figures of the game, they should definitely find a better way to make sure significant contributors get recognized.

Thespiralgoeson
02-23-2006, 02:25 AM
Is it accurate to say that Nelson was the originator of the "small ball" style of game? I haven't been around that long so I wouldn't know if say the 60's Celtics played that way or whatever.

Not really. Although I think it's fair to say that he made it a house-hold name. Truthfully, I think he learned it by playing with the Celtics. Dave Cowens was really a power forward who played his entire career as a center for the Celts. Nellie wasn't just about small-ball though. He was all about matchups.

Most of the numbskulls around the league will tell you that Nellie was only about offense, and only likes players who can shoot the three. It's just not true. Nellie always liked to use players in unconventional ways, ways that opposing teams couldn't counter. Having his bigmen like Dirk and Raef shoot on the perimeter was just one of these things. He also loved to use bigger guards to post up and score in the paint; Spree, Griff, Quis, etc...

Chum said something not long ago about Nellie that I think rings very true, so I'm quoting it in full:

Nellie has always done whatever it would take to win. Always. No way he was going to beat those Boston, Philly, and LA teams on offense, so the Bucks played defense. No way he was going to beat Shaquille O'Neal on defense with Raef LaFrenz and Shawn Bradley, so he played offense.

Is this so hard to understand? To me, it's not.

You know, I find it funny looking back to see that in the '03 playoff run we spent well less than ten minutes a game without a center on the court. Oh, but Nellie, even if he had Shaq, wouldn't play him. Please.

Arne
02-23-2006, 06:22 AM
I would put Nellie in the Hall of Fame just for the way he influenced the careers of Steve nash and Dirk Nowitzki.

kriD
02-27-2006, 09:46 AM
Next step for Nelson? A walk down the Hall

By EDDIE SEFKO / The Dallas Morning News

As a coach, Avery Johnson often has to watch what he says. But when the subject comes to Don Nelson's nomination for the Basketball Hall of Fame, Johnson refuses to bite his tongue.

Nelson's induction should be a slam-dunk, Johnson believes. And there are Nellie-backers from California to New York – OK, maybe not New York. But the former Mavericks revival leader has lots of support for him as the voters weigh his portfolio.

Johnson says there's nothing to weigh.

"My point is, what's the argument?" Johnson said. "There's no argument. It's a no-brainer."

Nelson was nominated during All-Star weekend. He has the second-most coaching victories (1,190) in NBA history. He won five championships as a player, but coaching is the primary reason for voters to elect him into the Springfield, Mass., hall later this year.

He resurrected two franchises, Golden State and Dallas, and maxed-out his teams in Milwaukee, not to mention with the Warriors and Mavericks. We can forgive that brief stopover with the Knicks as an aberration.

Recently, Nelson's merits as a Hall of Famer have been called into question. But when it comes to a body of work in regard to contributions to the game, it's hard to argue against the man who thought quicker on his feet than perhaps any coach in history. He forgot more great basketball strategies than some coaches ever know.

And he's largely responsible for helping build the Mavericks team that is 44-11 and has a good shot at winning the Western Conference.

"Everybody says he didn't win a championship as a coach, but look at everybody who's in the Hall who doesn't have a ring," said Del Harris, who has worked with or against Nelson virtually his whole career. "My key point is that none of the teams he's coached were good enough to win the whole thing. But did he get the most out of them that you could? Yes."

And there's another key to Nelson's legacy aside from pure longevity. As one e-mailer pointed out recently, Nelson should be commended for knowing when to step aside and allow Avery Johnson to take over the Mavericks.

Nelson knew enough to know his style was starting to earn diminishing returns from the Mavericks. Johnson has the benefit of being 23 years younger than Nelson. As such, he has the passion to worry about details and the tolerance to put up with a lot of things that, after a couple decades, tend to rub a coach raw.

"I'm just humbled to be nominated," Nelson says. "Whatever happens after that is fine."

As long as it includes his enshrinement somewhere down the line, he'll get no argument here.

MavKikiNYC
03-30-2006, 09:37 PM
Source: Nelson won't make Hall this year

03:19 PM CST on Thursday, March 30, 2006


By EDDIE SEFKO / The Dallas Morning News

ORLANDO, Fla – Don Nelson won't be joining the Basketball Hall of Fame, not this year, at least.

A source close to the Mavericks said Thursday that Nelson is not among the class of 2006
inductees who will be announced Monday at the Final Four in Indianapolis.

Nelson is second in NBA history in coaching victories with 1,190, 339 of them with the Mavericks before stepping aside late last season. He was among a large class of candidates to the Springfield, Mass., hall, but the source said Nelson did not receive enough votes from the panel to earn induction.
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/img/03-06/0330nelson.jpg DMN file
Don Nelson stepped down as Mavericks coach in March 2005.


Nelson, who trails only Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens in coaching victories, has been part of 3,123 NBA games as a player and head coach.

Nelson, 65, also coached at Milwaukee, Golden State and New York. He guided the Mavericks to the Western Conference finals in 2003 and is one of only two coaches in league history to have won at least 250 games with three different franchises (Bucks, Warriors and Mavs).

It is possible Nelson could be on the ballot for induction again in coming years.

DubOverdose
03-30-2006, 11:13 PM
What a joke

chumdawg
03-31-2006, 12:15 AM
Nelson is second in NBA history in coaching victories with 1,190, 339 of them with the Mavericks before stepping aside late last season.A dash would have been in order here. I kept thinking: Damn, I know Nellie was good, but a million+ games is a whole hell of a lot of games!

Too bad for the big guy. He'll probably make it eventually, though.

dirno2000
03-31-2006, 12:50 AM
Are there any coaches without titles in the HOF?

The basketball HOF feels cheap anyway with all the women and foreigners that most have never heard of. Recognize them if you like, just don’t do it in the same hall as Russell, Chamberlain and West.

chumdawg
03-31-2006, 01:44 AM
That would not be just a Hall. It would be a Shrine.

dirno2000
03-31-2006, 01:53 AM
I just picked the first three guys that came to mind but you're right, that would be a shrine :)

I'm just saying the NBA should have it's own HOF. Then maybe people would pay attention to it and talk about it the way they do the NFL and MLB HOF's.

MavKikiNYC
03-31-2006, 08:59 AM
I just picked the first three guys that came to mind but you're right, that would be a shrine :)

I'm just saying the NBA should have it's own HOF. Then maybe people would pay attention to it and talk about it the way they do the NFL and MLB HOF's.

Not gonna be much nice to say until they move it outta Springfield, MA.

grbh
03-31-2006, 10:12 AM
Vitale was nominated this year too. If he gets in and Nelson snubbed then what a joke

orangedays
03-31-2006, 02:21 PM
Nelson denied Hall of Fame membership
By ART GARCIA
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

Don Nelson will have to wait for the Hall of Fame.

Despite owning the second-most wins in NBA history, the former Mavericks coach wonít be part of the newest class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The latest class will be announced Monday from Indianapolis before the NCAA menís national championship game. According to a source, Nelson didnít receive the 18 votes needed from the 24-member Honors Committee.

One year into his retirement, Nelson was named one of 16 finalists for the Hall of Fame last month during the NBA's All-Star weekend in Houston.

Nelson, 65, has more than 42 years of NBA experience as a player, coach, general manager and consultant. He trails only Hall-of-Famer Lenny Wilkins in NBA victories with 1,190, including a franchise-record 339 wins with the Mavs.

Nelson is one of only two coaches in NBA history to record 250 victories with three different teams and won the coach of the year award three times. He coached the second Dream Team to gold in the 1994 World Championships, won five NBA titles as a player in Boston and had his No. 19 jersey retired by the Celtics.

Nelsonís influence goes beyond resurrecting the fortunes of Milwaukee, Golden State and, most recently, the Mavs. As a select member of the NBA's competition committee, Nelson helped draft the leagueís first set of illegal defense rules.

His innovations included "tall ball," "small ball," and the point forward position, and Nelson was at the forefront of the league's international movement. With his keen eye for talent, he found gems late in the draft, such as Latrell Sprewell, Tim Hardaway and Josh Howard.

Five-ofan
04-01-2006, 12:39 PM
to answer your question dirno, wilkens doesnt have a title and im pretty sure brown was in before he got a title but brown is the most overrated coach ever so thats not shocking.

madape
04-01-2006, 01:13 PM
Nellie's not done yet. He'll come back to coaching and probably prove all his detractors wrong AGAIN.

Five-ofan
04-01-2006, 02:14 PM
I dont know if he is done or not but this is just dumb. He is a hofer no questions asked.

dude1394
04-01-2006, 03:24 PM
Vitale was nominated this year too. If he gets in and Nelson snubbed then what a joke

Dick VITALE!! You have got to be kidding me...

Five-ofan
04-01-2006, 06:17 PM
Dumars got in. I dont think he should have gotten in over nelly. Classic case of a guy being underrated that so many people say is underrated that he actually becomes overrated.

MavKikiNYC
04-02-2006, 11:07 PM
to answer your question dirno, wilkens doesnt have a title and im pretty sure brown was in before he got a title but brown is the most overrated coach ever so thats not shocking.

(Lenny) Wilkens has a title. Seattle 1978.

Five-ofan
04-02-2006, 11:10 PM
As a coach hrmmm. Did not know that.

rakesh.s
04-02-2006, 11:39 PM
jason richardson = this generation's dominique wilkins?

Five-ofan
04-03-2006, 12:24 AM
his teams havent won as much as wilkins did.