“It’s the smart move….” — Michael Corleone, on being betrayed.
I. Joe Lacob
We’ve heard a lot of different explanations and insinuations why Don Nelson is no longer coaching the Warriors. I’ve sifted through the lot of it — “pitchforked” would probably be a better word — and think in the end it really comes down to this:
There can be only one Godfather.
It struck me today while contemplating the latest batch of ignorant and vicious propaganda regarding Don Nelson to be secreted out of the San Jose Mercury News, that while everyone is agitating over the decision whether to bring Don Nelson back as the coach of the Golden State Warriors, no one is discussing whether it might be worth while to bring him back as the de facto GM of the Warriors, or re-hire him as a “godfather” and paid consultant after his contract is up. This is a great oversight by the Bay Area media, which, of course, is what we’ve come to expect from these paragons of journalism. I wish to correct this oversight. Let’s discuss Don Nelson the GM.
In the surest sign to date that Don Nelson does not intend to play small this season, the Warriors just signed the 6-9″ 240 lb. Lou Amundson to a 2-year $5 million deal. There will be no more reliance on 20-year-old matchstick men to hold off the behemoths in the paint. There will be no more courting of injury disasters such as befell the Warriors front-line last year, when both Brandon Wright and Anthony Randolph disappeared for the season. There will be no more Corey Maggette at power forward. The Warriors are going to play big this season, even when they go to the bench.
And they are going to play with veterans. High basketball IQ veterans.
The Warriors signed Rodney Carney today, a 26-year-old 6-7″ swingman who played for the Sixers last year. Not exactly “The Next Big Move” I had been anticipating, but an interesting move nonetheless, and at the position I expected. Carney is that quintessential Nellie chess piece, the long, athletic defensive wing, that I have written about recently. Think Matt Barnes, Adrian Griffin, Raja Bell, Josh Howard, Latrell Sprewell, Mario Elie. (Carney is far less talented offensively than Howard or Sprewell to be sure, but the offensive capabilities both of those players showed in the pros came as something of a surprise: they were drafted by Nellie for their special talents on defense.)