Wise to Move On from Don
I’m going to miss a mostly Curryless Russia-USA game due to a marauding wisdom tooth. It’s rearing its ugly cap en route to punching my face in slow motion. Impressively, the tooth has survived in secrecy longer than Stephen Curry has existed. It will be ripped from my jaw, coated in dripping dark blood. Perhaps the tooth will be laced with that rancid sulphuric plaque stench-my deviant brain can only imagine what odors lie beneath. The experience will be unpleasant, but the longer it stays, the worse my mouth’s trajectory. Wait in denial, and expect crocodile features, that morph into creatures worse than wrong. So it’s an extraction worth celebrating, especially since the little bastard’s cutting my inner cheek like Carl Landry sent it on a mission.
And in that spirit, it’s time to move on from Don Nelson. This isn’t an angle coming from an armchair GM–it’s the visceral howl of a fan. The rigor of another listless, defenseless season feels unbearable, even in September. I could build my case logically, through methodical citations of cartoonishly absurd lineup decisions–I can’t erase the memory of Mikki Moore and Vlad Rad tag-teaming the center position–but why bother? Nellie has his admirers, or as I’d call them, “holdouts.” And if they’re unswayed by now, if they believe that one more year of Nelson will help this young team, I’m not changing minds so impervious to observation. In fact, enjoy that opinion. Hug it till it warms your chest in the wake of another 129-118 defeat. Worship of coach adds a religious comfort to life that I lack.
But sentient Warriors fans have lost that inclination to worship, and there’s another avenue to comfort. I’m aware that Don Nelson is owed six million dollars of sunk cost, but it’s money well sunken if Nellie’s sent back to Hawaii. A Don departure conveys a new direction, tells fans that Lacob is serious in ways that Cohan couldn’t be booed into. The old ownership would never pay two coaches at once, and they’d probably get hoodwinked into another Don deal on the wings of a highly amazing two-game winning streak.
So, a coaching “change” would be an extraction worth celebrating. Such a shift would ironically end a career that is worthy of celebration. He’s a basketball giant, blessed with a unique urge to challenge conventional wisdom. He’s often been a pioneer, but I fear his career has veered to a taste-tester phase: Don Nelson tries everything and more discerning coaches learn to avoid what kills Warriors teams.
Many sportswriting observers mock his listless stares, and frequent inability to rise from the bench. My central complaint: Nelson’s best players often spend equal time glued to the pine. The second problem is amplified by the first. Fans can better absorb questionable coaching decisions if the man in charge appears charged. Those who care can’t stomach insipid play flavored with a vacant stare. No wonder the Bay can’t get enough of Mike Singletary’s impassioned mania.
New ownership has decisions on the docket, but many can’t be addressed till full run is granted . When Lacob has authority to decide, he shouldn’t foot drag on an easy choice.That would only further stretch the chasm between fans and team. If Don Nelson has no future here, then what’s the point of clinging to the past? Such an aimless procrastination would set the tone for another era spent in mediocrity’s quicksand. If Nellie lacks energy, recent victories, glowing reviews, and another contract, then what’s he doing here? And what are we doing watching this team?