If you loved Nellie, if you’d prefer the Nelson coaching eulogy to be reverent and tasteful..cover your sweet doe eyes.This hindsight is unscrubbed, because eulogies should be honest historical renderings–not overly sensitive schmaltzings.This hindsight still sees Vlad Rad at center. Mikki’s skinny frame still gets scoped–hindsight glowers as passes bounce off Moore’s mitten hands. With infrared vision, hindsight somehow views the abstraction that is the absence of Biedrins playing time.The altogether awful defense? Sometimes that’s all hindsight sees–in the middle of the night–while he bloodies neighboring ears with screams louder than burning cats:


Many fans choose to revel in the relative glories of one abrupt playoff run.There’s nothing else there, save for a 48 win season that saw too little of Biedrins. The whole ride ended with a 2008 loss to the Suns. Hindsight says, that was when it stopped, right there. Everything after that isn’t history. It’s money, time, and energy thrown into a woodchipper–wasted moments that built to nothing but pain, dismay, and frustration.Yes, that two-round run was a grand fluke, and we all knew that either consciously or subconsciously. “We Believe” resonated because it was triumphantly incompetent. Give Nellie credit for making it happen, and heightening the ridiculousness of that triumph with post game beers and defeat predictions.

The two losing years lasted longer than the two winning years.Time flies when it’s enjoyable, drags when it’s unbearable, and we often remember the ephemeral happiness in order to stay sane. I believe the memory of We Believe will temporally leapfrog Nelson’s recent bad spiral. As we get older, his stint will shrink into that Dallas upset and Baron’s dunk. As we grow ear hair, it will reduce into something about Davis dunking on Dirkei Novilenko in the Finals.

That is, unless Anthony Randolph becomes an All Star. That is, unless Keith Smart wins championships. Or Mullin becomes a kingpin in his own right. The success of any would tarnish Nelson’s cloudy legacy. His standing will spend retirement dodging run and river cards.

Today, he floats to Hawaii on a raft of six million dollars. Credit to the Warriors for nudging him in that direction. It’s been long overdue, long before media said it was long overdue. His impact was immense, his personality was larger than that. He lost more games than he won and I’m happy he’s gone.


13 Responses

  1. mookie

    We all want good basketball but watching 6 or 7 guys , including D-League dudes, fight hard and even win in places like Dallas and New Orleans last year was impressive.It was very difficult to watch Mikki Morre play 25 minutes a game though. I’m certain Mikki couldn’t believe it himself.

    as to ARandolph, there’s a guy who would age any coach, not just nellie. Watching him screw up and then redeem himself often on the same play was entertaining however.

    and yes, let’s find Monta a new home! Overrated……

  2. bgalella

    What do you guys think about Keith Smart? Golden State has some talent, just clawing into the playoffs is going to be a tough task in the loaded west. I think Golden State will be in the 35-39 win range and then have to hit it big in the draft lottery for a small forward or center.

  3. Nicholas

    This article sucked more than Bobbi Bliss. Maybe it’s just me at the end of a long day of work but this article read like chinese. Nice try Sherwood. My guess is you contocted the outline for this article a half a fifth deep with Jim, Jack, or Jose. Sober up.

    • Ethan Sherwood Strauss


      Thanks Nick! I’ll try and “contocted” more done better!

      • DeuelWarrior

        It read like a fans ode to a coach who should have been gone a couple years ago. Keep it up.

  4. dizzle

    all you need to do is check the W’s boxscores from november and december ’10 to have an argument for nelson’s senility: mikki moore and chris hunter starting over anthony randolph? just because the warriors have not been successful since nellie’s first stint with the team doesn’t mean that he did a good job this time around and it’s a fallacy to believe that he’s the reason for their successes and failures. when a team loaded with as much talent as the W’s have had for the past few years underachieves its way to top 10 pick-land, it might have something to do with the captain of the ship…especially when he’s a drunken sailor like nellie.

    • mick

      So it is a fallacy to point to the fact that the only time in the past 20 years the Warriors have been successful has been when Nellie was coaching. Sorry your logic is tragically flawed.

      Secondly, your comment about the warriors underachieving is totally incorrect. They were decimated by injuries and their “best player” HAHAHA is Monta Ellis who rates out as a below NBA player on EVERY advanced metric. They were young and lacked the talent to compete in a tough Western Conference. Its difficult to compete against healthy 13-15 NBA rosters when you can only suit up 5-8 players most night (at least a few of which were D-Leaguers.

      Your point about Nellie playing Mikki Moore and Hunter are spot on. I have to believe this was one of Nellie’s mistake.

      Anthony Randolph has played fairly well in limited minutes in a system that probably isn’t great for him. However, it is a huge leap to think that he is going to be a star. I think he’ll be good, but it takes a huge leap to be able to be productive every night playing 30-35 minutes. IU guess we’ll see on that one.

      If they can dump Monta for yesterdays lunch and some cap room they’ll be moving in the right direction. His usage rates are off the charts for someone who is drastically inefficient offense (NO DEFENSE). In terms of win shares and wins produced he is close to being the most overated guy in the Association…

  5. mick

    There are reasons that a fresh start is good. HOWEVER, lets get a little perspective here. The two back to back successful seasons the Warriors had were the best seasons since…Don Nelson first coached the warriors. Name me a more exciting team to root for than the Warriors with Baron when they upset the Mavericks. That was absolutely EPIC. If the owners can put together a team that can generate that kind of excitement and advance past the first round of the playoffs I would be shocked and THRILLED.

    • geraldmcgrew

      “Excitement” being crucial to whether I will spend my hard-earned money to follow the team. Aloha, excitement.

  6. Andrew

    Ya know, it is sad that now Nellie has to deal with being the symbol of all that is wrong with the W’s. Remember the excitement in the bay area when he was rehired? He had his faults but he was successful in a very unseccessful environment, twice. Hopefully, he is in good health and all parties can eventually succeed going forward.

  7. bgalella

    It’s about time the team pulled the plug. Nelso had to go, play the young guys and see what this team can really do.

  8. BallHyped Sports Blog Rankings

    “The two losing years lasted longer than the two winning years. Time flies when it’s enjoyable, drags when it’s unbearable.”
    That about sounds it up. Another solid take E.
    Could be worse I guess. You could be a Clipper fan. At least you had a couple winning years.
    Hopefully Keith Smart can duplicate the magic of the 1987 NCAA championship game, and get yall believing again.
    Just hyped this up on http://ballhyped.com/. Vote it up!