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News » Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-10-30

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-10-30

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-10-30
The Warriors are so sure this season is going to fizzle, they've postponed Don Nelson's going-away party.

The longtime coach signed a two-year, $12 million extension hours before the 2008-09 opener Wednesday, effectively taking the focus off this season and placing it on the future of the franchise.

Nelson (1,280) entered the season with the second-most wins among coaches in NBA history, trailing Lenny Wilkens (1,332) by 52. But with Baron Davis having bolted for the Clippers and new star Monta Ellis out perhaps two months following ankle surgery, it figures to be nearly impossible for the 68-year-old to overtake Wilkins this season.

So instead of asking Nelson to push the team to the limit -- perhaps at the expense of developing its young talent -- in a last-gasp attempt to gain the top spot on the wins list, the Warriors decided to assure him he'd be around through 2011, by which time they hope the young guns have developed into a title contender.

"Our fans and players enjoy his entertaining style," Warriors president Bob Rowell said of the extension, "and we all look forward to the day he establishes the NBA's all-time wins record for a coach."

Nelson, who contemplated retirement in the summer of 2007 in what most observers saw as a power play to get a contract extension, assured the negotiations that led to Wednesday's announcement were not something he pushed upon the organization.

"It wasn't my idea," he claimed. "It was fine with me to weigh it year-by-year."

But with this year's club not considered to be among the chief playoff contenders in the West, the Warriors were looking at an awkward transition from Nelson to his successor had they not locked him up long-term. Fully aware it took the club 12 years to make the playoffs again after Nelson left the first time around, Warriors management was happy to postpone that inevitable handoff for two years.

"He has proven to be one of the most successful and innovative coaches in the history of our game," Rowell praised, "and his continued presence on the sidelines is certainly a prominent asset for our team and organization."

HORNETS 108, WARRIORS 103: The biggest question hovering over the Baron Davis-less Warriors this season is: Who's going to take the big shots when the game on the line? On Wednesday, the answer was nobody. Down by one in the final seconds, the Warriors put the ball in the hands of newcomer DeMarcus Nelson, who nearly threw it away while driving toward the hoop. Then on a subsequent inbounds play, Stephen Jackson misread Corey Maggette's cut, resulting in a turnover and a game-clinching parade to the foul line by the visiting Hornets.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 30, 2008


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