Nelson returns to coach Warriors
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Don Nelson entered familiar stomping grounds on
Wednesday as he was named the new head coach of the Golden State Warriors.
It marks a return to the team for the 66-year-old Nelson, who guided the
Warriors for six-plus seasons beginning in 1988. He posted a 277-260 record
with the squad before resigning halfway through the 1994-95 season.
“We are really excited to welcome Don back to the Warriors’ family,” said
Golden State executive vice president of basketball operations Chris Mullin.
“He has proven to be one of the best and most successful coaches in NBA
history and is very-well respected throughout the league for his unique
creativity, strategical exploits and leadership. We often talk about having
the right fit for a team and I think this man is someone who can certainly
help our young and talented roster achieve its maximum performance.”
Nelson replaces Mike Montgomery, who parted ways with the Warriors on Tuesday
despite having two years remaining on a four-year deal. Montgomery had been
the Warriors head coach for the past two seasons and posted an overall mark of
68-96 after finishing consecutive seasons with a record of 34-48.
Golden State’s last playoff appearance came in 1994, under Nelson. The three-
time NBA Coach of the Year has posted a 1,190-880 record in 27 years as an NBA
head coach, also guiding Milwaukee, the New York Knicks and Dallas.
“I’m really excited about this new opportunity and want to thank (Warriors’
owner Chris Cohan) for opening the doors again,” said Nelson. “I have always
had a special place in my heart for this organization and the incredible fans
of the Bay Area who have filed into this arena year after year. I’m equally
excited about the team that I’m inheriting, one that I think is extremely
talented and has a lot of room for growth.”
Nelson went 339-251 record in eight seasons with the Mavericks, but left the
team in March of 2005 due to health issues. The product of Iowa is the second
winningest coach in NBA history, trailing only Lenny Wilkens. Nelson has also
coached Milwaukee, Golden State and New York.
A player for 14 seasons, Nelson spent most of his time on the court with the
Boston Celtics and also played for the Lakers and Chicago Zephyrs.