The Smart Move

“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.

Don Nelson had a pipe-dream, of coaching the new and improved Warriors he helped build back to respectability this season, and then retiring into the role of franchise Godfather. The kind of role that his mentor, Red Auerbach, filled for so many years with the Celtics. I and many other fans shared that dream. How sweet would it have been to see Nellie march the Warriors into the playoffs one last time? How poetic a vindication? And how nice would it have been to have Nellie continue to shape the Warriors roster, as only he could, after his retirement?

Unfortunately for Nellie and for us, that dream disappeared in a puff the moment the Warriors were sold.  Because the role of Godfather to the Warriors franchise was something that new owner Joe Lacob coveted for himself.

From the very first moment Lacob opened his mouth after the sale, it was made clear that he intended to be an NBA owner in the Mark Cuban mold: in other words, not just the owner but also the de facto GM of the Golden State Warriors. I noted it in my analysis of his first interviews.  He offered some strong basketball opinions in those interviews: to wit, that running teams can’t win in the playoffs, and that the “architecture” of the Warriors needs fixing.  And oh yes, that Stephen Curry and David Lee were the core of the Warriors, and Monta Ellis something else.

Other sources provided additional, if indirect, confirmation that Joe Lacob is the new Warriors’ GM. Nellie’s agent John O’Connor had this to say about him: “He’s got — how should I say this? — el cojones grande.” Larry Riley put it this way: “He’s full of energy and got his own thoughts.” My translation: Joe Lacob is comfortable substituting his own judgement for that of his basketball people.

And then of course there is the direct confirmation: the signing of Jeremy Lin.  I offer no basketball opinion of Mr. Lin, other than that I was somewhat impressed by his summer league showing against John Wall.  I’m rooting for his success.  But I think it’s universally acknowledged that Lin was signed to the Warriors personally by Joe Lacob, and that if it weren’t for Lacob’s mandate, he would not be on the roster. The NBA-ready Jannero Pargo would be on the roster.

The Lin signing was followed by the decision to let Anthony Tolliver go, and sign Lou Amundson in his stead. This might seem like a rather insignificant decision, involving low-salaried bench players. But replacing the undersized but tremendously gifted and versatile Tolliver with the larger but seriously underskilled Amundson was an obvious cannonshot across Nellie’s bows, a clear signal that his was no longer the controlling vision of the franchise. Lou Amundson is the type of player that Nellie has always wanted the other team to put on the floor. The kind of player Nellie made a career out of destroying, by forcing him to guard quicker players, and pulling him out of the lane, and beating him down the court. The kind of player that Nellie would ruthlessly foul on the offensive end, to send his 48% free throw shooting butt to the line. The kind of player that would hand Nellie wins.

I think that was probably enough for Nellie.  Nellie had his fill in Dallas when Mark Cuban decided he wanted to become the GM, and let Nellie protege and soon-to-be two-time MVP Steve Nash walk, and replaced him on the payroll with Eric Dampier.  Amundson for Tolliver is nowhere near that class of blunder, but I’m sure it, on top of the Lin signing, was enough for Nellie to realize that his pipe-dream was dead.

With Nellie still holed up in Maui like disgraced caporegime Frankie Five Angels in the federal pen, and Larry Riley playing the Tom Hagen role of mouthpiece, the new Godfather of the Warriors delivered his message.  Nellie was brought to Oakland one final time to discuss terms, and then fell on his six million dollar sword.

Joe Lacob, for all his many business achievements and great wealth, has spent his career in relative obscurity. Certainly compared to the many famous businessmen  of his era.  The name over the door of his venture capital firm doesn’t say Joe Lacob, it says Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. I’m sure that anonymity has eaten at him over the years.

Well, that’s all changed now. Now Joe Lacob is the Godfather of an NBA franchise.

And he just made his bones, on a Hall of Famer.

II. Larry Riley

If there was anything amusing about Warrior’s media day, it was watching Larry Riley and Keith Smart go from paying Don Nelson his due, to climbing over each others’ backs trying to distance themselves from him.  Riley spent a lot of time during his interviews trying to convince his listeners that he arrived independently at the conclusion that Nellie had to go, and that all of his roster moves this off-season, starting with the Lee signing, represented a conscious departure from Nellie’s vision for the team.

Ba-loney.

Riley admitted in his interview with Ralph and Tom that he had been trying to trade for Lee for over a year.  In other words, beginning around the time that the Warriors’ draft-day deal for Amare Stoudemire collapsed after Stephen Curry miraculously fell into their lap. Was Riley operating independently of Don Nelson back then?  Of course he wasn’t.

The feeling that the Warriors were not big enough or tough enough or veteran enough on the front line was Don Nelson’s feeling — as anyone who heard or read his comments in the press on Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph knows — and it was a feeling he had well before last year’s injury disasters.  It is self-evident that Don Nelson was intimately involved in the decisions to pursue Stoudemire and Lee, and in all likelihood the primary instigator. Both Stoudemire and Lee are perfect Nellie big men. And when those moves were initiated, Larry Riley was still his boy.

Nor was there anything in the signings of Dorell Wright and Rodney Carney that signaled a move away from Don Nelson. As I’ve noted several times recently, both Dorell Wright and Rodney Carney are quintessential defensively-oriented Nellieball wing players, on a roster devastatingly devoid of them.  So much so that I predicted in advance that the Warriors would be making a move for a player of their kind. And on the very day that the Warriors declined to match New Jersey’s offer to Anthony Morrow, which opened the door to the signing of Dorell Wright, I watched from courtside as Don Nelson and Larry Riley huddled together in the bleachers at the Las Vegas Summer League. Quite obviously, they were still working closely together at that moment, and indeed Nellie’s very presence at the summer league indicated that both men believed at that time that Nellie would be returning this season.

The move away from Don Nelson came after Joe Lacob took charge.  It came when Lacob left Nellie without a back-up point guard by nixing Jannero Pargo and dictating the Lin signing, and when Tolliver was mysteriously rejected in favor of Amundson.  In other words, it came after Larry Riley discovered with certainty the side on which his bread was being buttered.

I’m sure Larry Riley is a very competent basketball man. His resume as a coach and personnel man is extensive. He is certainly a very congenial man, a great communicator, and possessed of a large rolodex. And of course Nellie himself liked and trusted him. But I simply don’t believe that Larry Riley had the power to operate independently of Nellie prior to the sale of the Warriors, and I don’t believe he has the power to operate independently of Joe Lacob now. All evidence is to the contrary.

What I believe is that if Riley is still around next season as the nominal GM of the Warriors, it will be as the Little Donnie Nelson to Joe Lacob’s Mark Cuban. I think Riley understands that, and his furious spinning to the media simply shows that he is trying very hard to keep his job.

III. Keith Smart

Expectations are high in the media that Smart will lead the Warriors in a very different way than Don Nelson. Specifically, it is expected that the Warriors will play with bigger lineups; that the Warriors will focus more on the defensive end; that the starters will play fewer minutes; and that the chemistry of the team will improve under Smart’s kinder, gentler guidance. Naturally, these expectations are highly annoying to me, not so much because they imply criticism of Nellie, but because they are completely bogus.  I’ve already covered a lot of this territory, but I can’t resist commenting:

If the Warriors play bigger this season it will simply be because 1) They have better big men, and now can play big and win; and 2) Their big men stay healthy. Don Nelson proved throughout his career that he preferred playing big to playing small. But above all, he preferred winning.

I should also throw out a third possibility: or 3) Because Keith Smart wants to keep his job. But I don’t want to consider this possibility yet. It is insulting to Smart, and I have high hopes for him.

If the Warriors play better defensively this season, it will largely be because they now have the personnel to play better defensively. As Keith Smart himself graciously pointed out in his interviews. Nellie was a pretty darn good defensive coach with the right personnel, as the We Believe team (that held the Mavs 10 points below their scoring average in the four Warriors wins, while running the ball down their throats), and the 2002-3 Mavs (that lead the league in point-differential), should have proved to everyone. The media simply have never gotten that, because the idea that a coach could emphasize defense within the framework of a high-octane offense is simply too advanced a concept for them. Don Nelson was not after defensive statistics, he was after point-differential and wins.  And he got them.

If the starters play fewer minutes, it will be because the team can win with them on the bench.  (And given the thinness of the Warriors bench at point guard and center, I’m skeptical that it can even happen.)

If the chemistry of the team improves, it will improve with winning.  Winning is what builds chemistry.  How was the chemistry of the We Believe team?

The Warriors’ players all love Keith Smart.  He’s their friend, protector, mentor. That was the role he played as the intermediary between the players and grumpy old Nellie.  It is not an easy role to maintain as a head coach.

The players all loved Avery Johnson when he took over in Dallas.  Right up until he drove them over the cliff and they threw him under the remains of the bus.

Getting knuckleheads to play decent basketball, or good players to play championship basketball is not always about being liked. Just crack open David Halberstam to the chapter on how Phil Jackson treated Horace Grant.

I’m looking forward to watching Keith Smart coach.  I’m going into it with an open mind. I’m not going to judge him on the basis of what I saw him do last year. I don’t think that would be fair, both because of the limited personnel he was given to work with, and the difficult situation he was in as Nellie’s proxy. The book on Keith Smart starts now. I’m rooting for him.

I will say this, though: the bar I’m setting for Keith Smart this season is quite high. If Andris Biedrins is healthy, and stays healthy, then Smart is taking over a very talented roster.  It’s a roster that I believe Don Nelson could have taken to the playoffs, with a very few slight tweaks (Pargo and Tolliver).

But the bar I’m setting for Smart is also a very simple bar.  Whether or not he plays bigger, whether or not he increases the defensive focus, gets the starters more rest, gets the players to sing Kumbaya in the huddles, or renounces Don Nelson in the press and declares himself reborn — I will attempt to judge Keith Smart by a very simple standard that I learned from Nellie:

How good is he at winning?

Good luck, Coach Smart.  Let’s kick some arrogant Western Conference ass.

IV. Feltbot

Regular followers of this blog are probably asking themselves whether I’m suffering an existential breakdown now that Nellie is gone. It’s a valid question, at least with respect to this blog: this blog was inspired by my joy in watching a Nellie-coached team through thick and thin, and my desire to counter what passed for analysis of Nellieball on other blogs.

The truthful answer is I don’t know. For now, while I remain hopeful about Keith Smart, and I have Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis and David Lee to watch play beautiful uptempo basketball, this will remain a Warriors blog. But if something should change — if, for instance, Joe Lacob decides to draft the next Greg Oden or Hasheem Thabeet, or decides to trade Monta Ellis for the next Eric Dampier, as I fear he yearns to in his heart — then the direction of this blog will change in a hurry. I have a very low tolerance for mediocrity, that outweighs any sort of allegiance I might have to the Warriors. In the long years that the Warriors wandered in the desert between Nelson stints, I simply turned them off. I preferred watching Nellie create the Dallas Mavericks out of thin air.

While I have some curiosity myself as to the direction this blog will take, one thing I can promise is that I will be spending very little time going forward defending Nellie’s record.  When I bring Nellie up, it will be to use him as a familiar reference point in order to draw a comparison, or to make a basketball point.  It seems rather pointless to me to go on defending him in the abstract, now that it’s useless to do so. That game is over. I’m moving on.

Now that Nellie’s gone, it’s enough for me to simply remember the enjoyment I got from watching him work. I enjoyed struggling from afar to divine the secrets of his labrynthine mind and his champion’s heart. I enjoyed trying to learn from him the game within the game of basketball.  As a professional competitor myself, I learned from him the importance of defying conventional wisdom and being utterly fearless to try new things in seeking the path to victory.  And I learned the importance of never giving in: believing you can win no matter what the odds, game-planning to win, and on the day, doing whatever it takes to get that win. Like Larry Riley, I will forever believe that “If you had one game to play in your life, you’d want Don Nelson to coach that game.”

I’m filing Nellie’s work on my bookshelf of modern American masters, next to Thelonious Monk, Elmore Leonard and David Simon.

That’s the shelf I return to.

86 Responses to The Smart Move

  1. Thanks

  2. Nice work Felty, this line had me rolling:

    “Regular followers of this blog are probably asking themselves whether I’m suffering an existential breakdown now that Nellie is gone. It’s a valid question”

  3. Great writing as usual. Thanks.

  4. Oh man, FB, you got me blue. I just put on some Monk.

    One of the things that must have made this hard to write is that you knew you would be ignored. Worse, many may not even know what you’re talking about. Why they don’t is depressing as well.

    “I learned from [Nelson] the importance of defying conventional wisdom and being utterly fearless to try new things in seeking the path to victory. And I learned the importance of never giving in: believing you can win no matter what the odds, game-planning to win, and on the day, doing whatever it takes to get that win.”

    How many times in this culture have we seen such people pushed aside, in sports and elsewhere, in favor of what, why, and with what results?

    Here is my question about Lacob: Did he know what you’re talking about? Did he ever stop and at least weigh Nelson’s assets and talents when he made his decision? And if he did make a full evaluation, would he have been strong enough to get behind Nelson if he did decide in his favor? He would have had that power.

    But it doesn’t sound like he gave it much thought. I wonder if a better comparison for Lacob might come from his stint with the Celtics. Is this where he learned basketball and is making his decisions? But the Celtics had to buy a lot of talent and got an exceptional coach. If the Warriors try to follow their model, I suspect they will become more physical, to be sure, but still a mediocre team and, worse in my eyes, a boring one.

    Media day just sits raw with me. The more I think about it, the more it sounded like a propaganda rally, everyone repeating the slogans of the chief, popular with the mob.

    I’d also be curious to hear Riley’s, Nelson’s, and Lacob’s opinions of Melo. Apparently they made a serious effort to get him. For so many reasons, this move bothered me, and I’m guessing it was a Lacob move. We’ll never hear these, though.

    I just miss Tolliver. He didn’t fit into the mold, but he showed he could do so many different things, fill in in so many different ways. And I just liked watching him on the court, how he approached the game.

    I’m still optimistic. The Warriors have spirited, highly motivated players who can and will take the initiative, specifically Curry, Ellis, Lee and Williams — and I suspect the others will follow their lead. They will not be hard to coach. Smart has seen and worked with this. They need to be guided, but also turned loose. And you just can’t slow Curry down. Bob McKillop tried it once at Davidson and Curry went on a tear. Maybe we’ll get enough exciting games and wins to persuade Lacob as well.

    Monk: Live at the Jazz Workshop. Robin Kelley panned it in his biography, but I love it. But I don’t think he heard the full recording, fairly recently released.

  5. Also much thanks FB, and hope to keep hearing from you.

  6. Excellent review. I share your sentiment over the loss of Nelson. I also believe that a Nelson-coached Warriors, barring injury, would have made into the playoff this season. The consensus of low 30 victories is simply too pessimistic consider the depleted injury team had 26 last season and now we added an all star power forward.
    Keep up your good work at your blog!!! It is refreshing out here away from the polluted world of Kawakami and Lauridsen.

  7. You gotta keep this blog up Feltbot! Us Cog-no-sent-ee need a place to Con-gree-gate!

    No kidding, this place is a must visit for me.

  8. CURSE OF MULLIN

    Felt,

    Your analysis starts out as being quite insightful, then slowly transitions to near-comedy toward the end. Yes, clearly Lacob wants to be provide the architectural force for this building. But that doesn’t mean he will suffer the same judgment shortcomings as Cuban. Lacob’s moves thus far make a lot of sense.

    Regarding the timing of Riley’s Nellie impersonation (et tu Brutae? I mean… Mully?) like you, I question whether Riley really decided he was moving away from Nellie during mid-last season. But by Draft Day 2010, it’s pretty clear that he was starting to distance himself from Nellie. You could see this in the comments Riley made to the media at the time, and do you really think Nellie was behind the Udoh pick? I find that hard to believe. I’d bet $100 Nellie wanted Monroe. (I did, too, by the way.) And that was well before Lacob won the bidding war, contrary to your theory.

    And Amundsen is a much more effective player than undersized Tolliver, especially for the Warriors. After losing Turiaf, the Warriors desperately need someone like Amundsen to at least slow down beefy 5’s and 4’s who will simply overpower Biedrins, and even Lee. Turiaf used to fill that role.

    Your stuff about Nellie always wanting to play big is just plain silly. You can see from Riley’s, Smart’s and players’ comments this week that they’ve been DYING for this day to come–to get bigger, bring in some real defenders and rebounders. Cheers, Felt, the New Day is here.

  9. Though I don’t agree with the sentiments expressed, the prose was a pleasure to read. I like the Godfather theme. Nice work, Felty.

    Regarding Cuban and the topic of active owners, in the 10 years that he has owned the Mavericks, they have made it to the playoffs every season and have won 50 games or more. His team wining percentage climbed a stout 29%. By all accounts Lacob is a smart guy with an excellent track record as both businessman and a member of the Boston Celtics ownership group, with whom he also played an active role. I’ll take my chances with this guy. He’s much more likely to attain the success of an owner like Cuban than the abject failure of an owner like Chris Cohan. Actually, he’s already won an NBA championship. How’s that for credibility?

    The winds of change are blowing hard in Oakland, and I think we’ll see barely a trace of Nelson’s philosophy in Smart’s system as time goes by. He’s already swinging the wrecking ball wide and hard. I do believe you’re right about Lacob being an active owner, and I have a feeling that he has given strong suggestions to Smart about what he wants to see on the court (i.e, a traditional line-up, more post play, and less chucking.) That’s great news for fans who want to see a winning team. And what fan doesn’t want that?

    I think it will be hard for you to enjoy this version of the Warriors, Felty. You’ve invested too much in Nelson and his brand of Warriors basketball. Watching the Warriors will be like showing up at your uncle’s house for a family reunion, only to find the house was sold and there’s a different family there. Sad, empty, queer feeling.

    Don Nelson has left the building, and Keith Smart has brought in a new decorator and new furniture. Illustrating the point, Smart announced today that Brandan Wright, who is going to have a great year, (sorry to add insult to injury, feltbot) will log minutes at the 3 spot. There actually might be three bigs out on the court at one time. Imagine that. What next? The team retires Chris Mullin’s jersey? Oh, the horrors.

    Change has wrought palpable excitement and optimism among long-suffering Warriors fans. And amidst the freshness of change there are those few loyal drummer boys who mourn the whimpering passing of an era. It will be hard for them to enjoy a transition that so blatantly repudiates the recent past. Getting on board would be an act of betrayal, and we know how difficult betrayal can be. It’s the kiss of death, right Fredo?

  10. COM and SOA, I enjoyed your creative shot-taking. You are as welcome here as I am not on Lauridsen’s blog.

    For the record, COM, I strongly believe that Nellie was behind the drafting of the smaller Udoh over the larger Monroe. As I wrote here: http://feltbot.com/2010/06/24/did-don-nelson-get-the-player-he-wanted/

  11. RGG, how cool, I don’t know that record! My favorite is Underground.

    Thanks everyone for the kind words.

  12. Felt, BRAVO! Really enjoyed reading what you had to say. Even though I’m looking forward to watching this team grow and develop an identity seperate from teams of the past, I’m really going to miss Don Nelson.

  13. Here’s a brief overview of the Warriors (Ellis, Curry and Smart) taken from The Works on Fanhouse.

    ————————————————-

    TZ: Should we still consider Monta Ellis the best guard on this team? He did average 25/5 last season. The others who have done that this milennium: Kobe, LeBron, T-Mac, Grant Hill, Stackhouse, Wade, Iverson and Arenas. If not, does Stephen Curry’s ascension mark a paradigm shift in how we view scorers, a serious victory for efficiency over volume?

    BS: I have been a tireless Monta booster since forever, and when Curry entered the league, I wished him the worst. I speak this not to trounce my credibility, but so all good readers will know what it means when I say that Stephen Curry is, definitively, better than Ellis. We don’t even need to broach the tiresome, bottomless question of whether Monta’s 2009-10 stats were a mirage. Curry can run the offense, has learned to make sharp, sometimes flashy, passes that take him well past caretaker, gets to the basket far more readily than had been expected, and handles marvelously in traffic. Oh, and he’s an impeccable 3-point shooter. Ellis isn’t bad, he’s just not on the level of Curry, who is only entering his second season, and his first in an environment that doesn’t scream dysfunction.

    That said, Monta remains absolutely deadly when attacking the rim, or pulling back for the mid-range jumper. He lacks Curry’s range, but is underrated as a rebounder (athleticism does count on long boards) and passer (just don’t make him the primary decision-maker). His body control is absolutely outrageous, and who knows, in a different universe, we might be talking about him the way we do Derrick Rose. Alas, Ellis is first and foremost a scorer, and not one who has learned how to use penetration in the service of getting others involved. Or a guy who hesitates just enough to make it seem like he’s surveying his options. He’s not so much an antiquated form of player as simply lacking the precision, variability, and high ceiling of Curry.

    Ellis could be efficient if he didn’t shoulder so much of the load. He certainly has the tools for it. But Curry just does too much — not only well, but coherently. The Warriors robbed Ellis the chance to show that he makes sense as a player. Curry requires no such context. Plug him in anywhere and he can excel. Ellis requires a little more deliberation.

    TZ: Is Keith Smart a de-facto leading contender for Coach of the Year by virtue of not being Don Nelson? What would Smart have to do to screw it up?

    BS: Smart coached some last year, and who knows how much he actually did behind the scenes. It’s a tad bit unfair to say that Nellie leaves the team in utter shambles, since they did have injuries galore. Still, if it wasn’t karma at play, Nellie did have to deal with players traumatized, and in some cases simply confused, by life under his iron fist. That’s not something that goes away just because the man himself has disappeared from the bench. It’s tricky for Smart: Does it make sense to completely depart from Nellie’s ways, or does this roster, and its mindset, require some semblance of Nellie-ball for a smooth transition? Does he even want a smooth transition? Perhaps the ideal plan is to spend the first half of the season tearing it all down, and weeding out who works for Keith Smart, his own man.

    For instance, Nelson hates big men, or at least every single one he has had at his disposal since returning. The Warriors prize offseason acquisition was David Lee — a big man Nellie might have loved, but a big man regardless. A team built around Curry and Lee is going to require scrapping much of what this team is conditioned to do, and in some cases, a rude awakening about who is capable of what in a more structured setting. Will Smart win Coach of the Year for overcoming the ghost of Nelson? Of course not, but that’s the only way to meaningfully do “anything but Nelson.” Boris Yeltsin was stuck with the messy business of trying to bring Russia into the capitalist world, with blessedly mixed results. He also set the stage for Vladimir Putin, who seems intent on moving the country backward. But at least Yeltsin tried. And for that, history will remember him fondly. No Coach of the Year, though.

    TZ: More worthy of their substantial hype: Jeremy Lin or Reggie Williams?

    BS: Reggie Williams was on the cover of Vogue?

  14. Great post Felbot. Agree with you completely. But, I always felt the Warriors should have resigned Watson, and Nellie wanting Pargo would not have been the right move.

    With regard to whether Nellie wanted Monroe or Udoh, I believe he wanted Cousins, and because Sacramento was considering drafting either Cousins or Monroe, he played up Monroe in attempt to deek Sacramento into drafting Monroe. When Sacramento drafted Cousins, he showed his true feelings by having the Warriors draft Udoh. Riley shared the same belief that Udoh was a better player then Monroe.

    I agree with that Riley was very duplicitious and lacks strategic thinking that Nellie possesses. Lacob not wanting to keep Nellie in the loop and get his input, if he was to reject it, shows both his arrogance and know it all attitude. Thankfully, Riley still retains Nelson’s friendship and hopefully will discuss with him proposed trades and acquistitions. Media day was a farce and Lacob having both Riley and Smart throw Nelson under the bus shows what a wimp he is.

    One can see why is such a big supporter of the Republican nominee for Governor Meg Whitman who has a problem with being honest with the public and is willing to falsely accuse a former Latino worker of being a liar.

  15. OMG, Frank. The worker has all but admitted she lied about her illegal status. But you say Whitman falsely accused her of being a liar? And then you use your crazy political logic to dump on Lacob, who contributed many thousands of dollars to the Obama campaign and appears to lean Democrat? And you do this in a sports blog?

    Wow. Truly bottom of the barrel.

  16. yo felty, only 13 responses including a few from yourself? time to do some pimping on adam’s like you always do.

  17. a —

    Quality, not quantity.

  18. geraldmcgrew

    Issues regarding the worker in question aside, if Lacob is publicly supporting Whitman, it certainly lowers my opinion of him further. I’m not naive. I certainly understand that most sports figures lean right because most (not all) wealthy people lean right. If I require the teams and players I root for to have identical politics to mine, I won’t get to be sports fan. So if they’re quiet about it, I let it slide. We do have a secret ballot. But when they go public about it (including contributing to a right wing campaign, which would be a matter of public record), it affects me as a fan. How much it affects my fandom depends on the issue, the vociferousness of the figure in question, and how much choice I find available. I used to root for La Russa managed teams. No longer.

    I realize that sports fans, including those who frequent this blog, have various ideologies, which is of course fine and to be expected. I have no desire to argue in a sports blog for or against another sports fan’s political beliefs. But I do think it’s fair game to express how the public positions of sports figures, teams, and leagues affect my enthusiasm. Politics DO have an effect on the games we watch, and vice versa. That’s why I read Dave Zirin, as all good sports fans should.

  19. Thanks Feltbot,
    I was looking forward to a final season with Nellie as coach; however, all good things come to an end – Nellie couldn’t coach forever and many “felt” that his time had come… Too much drama with Nellie at the end for my tastes. Wish him the best!

    I’ll miss Nellie’s talent evaluation the most – I like how he can pick out good players from the draft when other smart GMs cannot!!! I knew Curry was going to be special because Nellie said so… and he halted the Stoudamire trade bc of it. And he has a gift in evaluating star NBA point guards/point forwards everyone else passes on.

    Smart is at least a good interim coach – if he does well, he stays. I hope Smart motivates his players to play inspired mix of selfless bball and some defense given his talent/health of his players. If he does poorly, Lacob/Riley will make a change.

  20. a:

    If blogs that get a high number of responses by racking up multiple hits from posters with mental issues is the measure of success, no thanks. I’ll spend my time reading the fewer comments here.

  21. mcgrew: ” …it’s fair game to express how the public positions of sports figures, teams, and leagues affect my enthusiasm.”

    Do the facts matter? Does saying, “… if Lacob is publicly supporting Whitman…” support your words, if in fact he isn’t? Why don’t you look it up, because I tried and found zero. But I did find records showing that Lacob has contributed to the campaigns of Chris Dodd (Democrat), Joe Lieberman (Democrat when the donation was made), Anna Eshoo (Democrat) and two donations of $28,500 to Obama (Democrat). These are facts available to anyone who cares to test their biases.

    “… most (not all) wealthy people lean right.” Wrong. Most wealthy people in this country lean left. Check it out, if you care to challenge your ignorance. Then, you and your buddy Frank might have a shred of evidence upon which to base comments.

    As for Zirin — an obvious political lefty who I won’t ever be reading. I follow sports precisely to take a break from the condescending ideologues like him and you who turn everything into a should/shouldn’t morality test. Please take your comments to the political blogs, where you’ll find plenty of heavy thinkers like you who ignore facts while they spout their biases.

  22. wow, posting up since pimping on Adam’s. Eat you pride felty, just thick skin and pimp daily. Don’t let shame at in your way.

    Go felty.

  23. The heckling seems to be on the rise… That’s a good thing, right?

    And “a”, why use an alias? Who are you hiding from, us or them?

  24. GovernorStephCurry

    So Felt, i’d like to hear your arguments for Tolliver > Amundson, when Tolliver is a pretty bad player and Amundson is considered one of the best backup bigs in the league.

    And Pargo is one of the worst players in the NBA. Just because Nellie wanted him, doesn’t make it a good move.

  25. GSC, his own team Phoenix — not to mention the rest of the NBA — apparently didn’t agree with your assessment of Amundson, even at a bargain basement price.

    Tolliver is capable of putting up 20 efficient points, or making his own teammates more efficient by spreading the floor and moving the ball — none of which Amundsen can do — while at the same time rebounding and playing the same scrappy defense that Amundsen plays. And you can have Tolliver on the floor at crunch time; Amundsen’s poor FT shooting disqualifies him from ever playing crunch time minutes.

    Obviously Pargo was not as good as keeping Watson, but CJ was too pricey given the Ws other needs. Pargo is a playoff-tested gutty performer that could have stepped seamlessly into this team’s system. There is now no one on the roster like him or CJ, and that’s a weakness.

  26. I didn’t mind the Lin deal because around that time I thought we were getting Pargo or another PG. I wonder what happened there. I miss CJ now, but am sure he’d like a shot at more minutes and he’s earned it.

    I assume they’ve got pieces they might yet trade later to fine tune the club.

    At least Lacob didn’t take some wild gamble and try to overhaul the club (though I wonder if he didn’t try — Melo). The roster is not substantially different from what Nelson would have had, had he been more involved.

    And he didn’t go out and gamble on a new coach — think of all the mistakes that could have been made here. Look at the Warriors after Nelson’s first departure, or the 49’s after Walsh left.

    There will be continuity.

    And I’m upbeat on Smart. He seems to pay attention to the details and he’s seen how this team can score the past years — he won’t give that up. He won’t be fighting egos or other distractions with these guys. He seems to have their attention and they respect him and will play for him. The guys are upbeat themselves, and Smart can feed on this. And if he gets better play out of AB, maybe BW (whatever the problems were), this could be a huge plus.

  27. Of course we know the real reason why Nelson had to step down:

    “And those trademark turtleneck shirts complete with the same few sport coats on the sideline are gone. New NBA rules require coaches to wear collared shirts during games.”

  28. MWLX: Facts do matter. After looking it up I also found zero linking Lacob to Whitman. If Frank stands by his claim, he should provide a source. To say Lacob has only contributed to lefties or Democrats would also be incorrect, and I don’t know who VENTUREPAC (the pac he supports) is supporting this year. But that is somewhat beside the point. My point was that if a sports fan is offended by a sports figure’s political position, it is valid to say so as a fan. I used the word “if” because I didn’t know Lacob’s position, but I can see how my comment could be taken as an unfounded accusation of Lacob. For this, I apologize to Mr. Lacob.

    As for the rest of your angry comments, I would, in fact, prefer to save any theoretical responses for political blogs, as you yourself suggest. I will certainly not abandon this blog at your demand, as fb reflects my spirit for basketball better than any other writer I’ve yet come across (though his understanding is certainly far more advanced than mine). I will probably also continue to make the occasional comment, though, as before, rarely political except in cases where another’s political comment seems to me to warrant a response. I’ll meet you halfway though: If you have or start a blog of your own, I promise not to go to it.

  29. nelliesbiggestfan

    SoA made a similar post about Cuban on the fast break blog. He lift out a rather important detail. The leader of that team, and the best player in franchise history was already there when cuban bought the team. It is the presence of Nowitzki taht makes the mavericks a winner year in and year out. While Cuban’s money and desire to win certainly helps it doesn’t have nearly the impact SoA claims it has.

    The mistake Lacob made was not firing nellie the coach, it was firing nellie the talent evaluator. He could have made nellie the old man of the franchise , which is what nellie wanted but Lacob didn’t want anyone around who cast a bigger shadow than he did.
    That decision will be expensive for warrior fans. In all likelyhood the team won’t be getting any high drafts picks in the next few drafts, Who is better than nellie at finding diamonds after all the easy picks have been made ?

  30. Son of Ahmed

    NBF,
    Nellie definitely has a great eye for talent. Players Like Dirk, Richmond, and Haradway were great pick-ups. He had scouts who found these players, but I’m sure he played a key role in ultimately selecting these players.

    But, NBF, Nelson has poisoned the well. Too many negatives with him from which Lacob is wise to free the team. Unfortunately, bad endings are a pattern that has emerged and re-emerged throughout his career. At least this time, all parties are happy to part ways. It’s a good thing, and I think most observers see this. Nelson certainly does.

    There’s another really important consideration: if Riley and Smart are to stay on board, they cannot exist under the immense shadow of Nelson. (No, that is not a “fat man” reference. LOL) It looks as though Lacob is going to give both of them a fair shot, and Nelson should be happy with that. They’re his guys. But if they are going to earn their stripes, they must have full autonomy, and there can be no appearances that there strings are being pulled by the Nelson from upstairs.

    Finally, NBF, it’s silly to attribute Cuban’s 10 year span of uninterrupted success to Nelson. Though Nelson left a positive mark on the team for the time he was there, Cuban has kept the team competitive long after Nelson’s time. Since Nelson left Dallas, Cuban’s teams have outperformed Nelson’s by a wide margin. The record speaks for itself. It always does.

  31. nelliesbiggestfan

    SoA

    your comparison of cuban’s teams to nellie’s teams over the last few years is laughable. How about comparing the payrolls ? In addition Cuban’s best player was handed to him by nellie. Cuban is still living off what nellie left him. Let’s see how cuban does after Nowitzki retires.

    Things didn’t have to end they way they did. Nellie didn’t want to run things anymore. He just wanted to keep his hand in the game. He would have been the best scout the w’s ever had. It’s your loss even if you’ll never recognize it.

  32. “Since Nelson left Dallas, Cuban’s teams have outperformed Nelson’s by a wide margin.”

    Except when it counted :>

  33. As predicted, the Bulls are going to use CJ Watson to shift DRose to the two:
    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/basketball/bulls/2765208,CST-SPT-bull02.article

    DRose is a lousy point guard, if he can even be considered a point guard at all. The Bulls record when Hinrich was injured was abolutely miserable, and they were really set up to miss him. Until they signed CJ.

  34. Tribute to Nellie (and intelligent coaching and FB for pointing things out):

    In the April 4 game against Toronto, at Toronto, the Raptors were still in the playoff chase. They also had an NBA stud as well as greater size. The Warriors played Williams, Maggette, Curry, and Morrow 40+ minutes. Watson subbed for 17 minutes (and had an off game), and Turiaf and Tolliver split time at big, some 25 minutes each (and George and Hunter made very brief appearances). Which meant that Tolliver was the largest Warrior on the floor over half the game (is Amundsen so versatile?).

    BECAUSE THAT WAS ALL NESLON HAD.

    18 boards for Curry and Morrow combined, btw, and Bosh made half his points at the free throw line.

    Here are FB’s comments:

    If Nellie had matched up conventionally in this game . . . — if he had played Turiaf/Hunter on the 7′-foot tall Bargnani, and Tolliver/Turiaf on Chris Bosh, and Corey Maggette at small forward — the Warriors would have gotten slaughtered. Slaughtered. Bargnani makes his living dragging conventional centers out of the lane (a Don Nelson invention, of course). And matching up Tolliver on Bosh would have been simply conceding the most important matchup in this game.

    If there is a hallmark to Don Nelson’s coaching, to his “system” as some would have it, it is this: never concede a matchup. NEVER. If the other team has a superstar that simply cannot be guarded, then Don Nelson will make sure to match him with a player that he himself cannot guard on the other end. And that is just what Nellie did in this game by starting Corey Maggette at power forward. Chris Bosh can’t be guarded? Well neither can Corey Maggette. Chris Bosh goes for 42? Corey Maggette goes for 31. Big deal. Let’s see what the rest of your team can do.

    Here’s what the rest of Toronto did: Andrea Bargnani shot 7-23 trying to force the action inside, which is NOT his game. Toronto’s guards were taken completely out of their rhythmn, because their front-line was a black hole: Bargnani and Bosh combined for 2 assists. The Warriors packed the paint, but Toronto’s shooters were no match for the Warriors’. Game, Set, Match, Don Nelson.

    We’ve seen it before: Maggette on Aldridge. Harrington on Dampier and Yao. Jackson on Nowitzki. I can’t guard you? Well, you can’t guard me.

    But it’s deeper, if you really think about it, than just small ball. Its Dirk Nowitzki on Malone, Duncan and Garnett. Its Monta Ellis on Brandon Roy and Kobe Bryant. It’s the quick three. The first available shot. The fast break after a made basket. The point forward. The point guard who can drop 30. The power forward who shoots threes. Five shooters on the floor.

    I can’t guard you? Well, you can’t guard me. Now lets play some basketball.

    If Don Nelson has a “system,” it is this: Winning. Don Nelson finds a way, any way, to win basketball games. You have big men and he has little, he will beat you. You have superstars, and he has D-Leaguers, he will beat you. No one in NBA history has ever found more ways to win, or had more courage to actually go ahead and do it, when playoff glory and careers were on the line. That is Don Nelson’s greatness.

    http://feltbot.com/2010/04/05/the-verge-of-valhalla-warriors-113-raptors-112/

    Think about what this represents, what it might have meant. My only complaint about Nelson’s coaching that night was that, with a sizable lead in the 4th. quarter, they held the ball and let Toronto back into the game. Standing still is not something those Warriors were good at.

    And here are those highlights again:

  35. Son of Ahmed

    Cuban’s tenure at Dallas: 50+ wins and playoffs every season.
    Nellie’s tenure at Golden State: below .500 record

    Suffice it to say, Felty and NBF, Dallas fans have been much happier with their product than Warriors fans over the past 10 years.

    But that is all about to change.

    Freedom!

  36. nelliesbiggestfan

    strange, we could compare Cohan to Cuban and we could compare nellie to avery johnson or rick carlisle but SoA wants to compare owners to coaches. make sense to anyone?

  37. NBF, I would pipe up in agreement, but somehow I don’t think anyone would find that persuasive :>

    btw, welcome to the blog! If you get tired of slugging it out on Adam’s blog, your knowledge and voice would be a welcome addition here…

  38. OT: MWLX, remember your recent stab at near-term prognosticating?

    ————————————————–

    MWLX | September 29, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Felt/Steve

    “My apologies for not being clear about what I meant by predicting the future. I was thinking of the future in the sense of what’s well beyond the next few days or weeks. I don’t have a problem with near-term prognostications. For instance, I’ll stick my neck way the heck out there and predict the Giants will win the division title in the next few days.”

    Now, here’s my stab at prognosticating what you tried to prognosticate. Anyone who tries to predict what the Giants are going to do will wind up (if they’re betting their money) broke and in the nut house. Take care of that neck. :)

  39. “if Riley and Smart are to stay on board, they cannot exist under the immense shadow of Nelson.”

    Son Of Ahmed, I would dump Riley and Smart in a heartbeat to keep a Hall of Fame coach wanting to go out with a splash. Kevin Pritchard is still available as are approximately 1000 head-coach-wannabees. There is no one available with Nelson’s credentials. Lacob screwed up, and us.

  40. Steve!

    You probably weren’t alive in 1958 when the Giants moved here, but I was, and I have 52 years’ worth of wounds and scars to prove it. Consequently, I would never underestimate the Giants’ tendency to fold in big games/situations. I’m not surprised they’re taking this thing with the Padres to the brink, and I won’t be shocked if they lose three and possibly four games in a row to choke away the division title.

    But this all underlines my point. Even with a near-term, near-lock situation, predictions aren’t worth much, so why even bother when there are many more interesting subjects we could discuss.

  41. Felty: It’s taken me three readings and three days of reflection before I felt I could comment intelligently on your superb analysis. I appreciate that you didn’t rush to judgement (like everyone else). The extra time you took shows in the depth of your commentary.

    We definitely share one thing — a low tolerance for mediocrity. I, too, ignored the Warriors for a number of years when their teams were not competitive and infuriating to watch. Do these names ring a bell? Carlesimo, St. Jean, Cowens, Winters, Musselman. It finally got interesting with Montgomery and Baron Davis, and the Nellie years have been tremendously exciting — in spite of the personality upheavals and the awful run of injuries.

    I second your motion that Lacob wants the spotlight — and doesn’t want to share it with a larger-than-life figure like Nellie. I agree that Riley was working closely with Nellie until Lacob began to impose his will. I do think you’re a bit harsh with Riley and Smart by using the following phrase as a pejorative: “…trying very hard to keep his job.” It seems unfair to criticize someone for trying to keep the kind of job that is rare, that many would kill to have, that pays exceedingly well, and that they’ve always wanted. We all have had to make compromises in job situations, and we try to do so with our integrity intact. I haven’t seen any lack of integrity by either man.

    One more reason for delaying my comment is that it’s taken me awhile to fully absorb the deep sense of loss I felt that Nelson is finished. He’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime geniuses who are never fully appreciated till after they’re gone. The small-minded simply can’t help but criticize what they don’t understand. And every genius has flaws, which makes them an easy target. As I get more distance from it, I see that it’s probably the best for Nellie himself. After all, he’s 70, and he went through the depressing Cuban situation, so he probably recognized Lacob as a less nutty Cuban-type from the get-go. A no-win situation. I wish him all the best, and I wish good times for us as we continue to bleed for the Warriors (up to a point).

    My hopes for Keith Smart are not high. He’s a solid human being, but then so was and is Mike Montgomery, and he couldn’t find success with the NBA egos who populate most teams. This year’s team seems to have a lot of good character guys, and I place my faith in that more than the coaching. For that, Nelson and Riley deserve the primary credit for assembling this roster.

    Lastly, I am torn between feeling amused and annoyed that folks like SOA and COM have popped up on your blog. Their record of silly and inane posts on the Lauridsen/Kawakami blogs is secured forever. On the other hand, their behavior here has been relatively sane so far. Who knew they had it in them? Perhaps being exposed to your sage analysis and the posts of our resident cognoscenti has rubbed off on them. One can only hope that your mission of bringing intelligent analysis to the Warriors fan universe is paying off, one small step at a time.

    And now, for some music appropriate to this elegy, and not being a big jazz fan, I think I’ll put on Stravinsky’s incomparable “Apollo,” written for an orchestra only of strings, and conducted by the composer. Check it out.

  42. “The small-minded simply can’t help but criticize what they don’t understand. And every genius has flaws, which makes them an easy target. ”

    MLXW, was it the appearance of a couple contributors to Adam’s column that caused you to pen this gem? Well said.

  43. GovernorStephCurry

    Well, i’ve taken this blog off my bookmarks. Bravo to making up stuff about Nellie and Tolliver. I can’t take this stuff too seriously anymore, but you ran an interesting blog. Congrats.

  44. Son of Ahmed

    MWLX,

    CoM and I don’t change our tone from blog to blog. I think we’re pretty consistent. If I’m not mistaken, CoM stood up for felty over at TK’s blog when there was a flap about him being unable to post. I did too. Perhaps we come across here as “sane” because are comments are not in accord with the vocal majority as they are over at Adam’s blog. But my tone here is no different.

    Make no mistake about it, I think the feltmeister is off his rocker in his analysis of Nelson and BWright, and I don’t like the shots he takes at Adam. Nonetheless, I welcome his alternative perspective as it makes the blogs we so frequently visit more interesting and colorful.

    Now if my tone IS different, its because felty’s writing here is more carefully and moderately penned. As I posted earlier, though I disagree with the sentiment of his posts, they are enjoyable as he is a good writer. His posts over at Adam’s are written in a different style, and they evoke a different kind of response. As someone who occasionally contributes articles over at WarriorsWorld.net (under the pen name Rick Blaine) I understand why.

    I will continue to take shots at Feltbot and his cooky takes, and he’ll fire back, I’m sure. All part of the fun.

    Finally, as far as CoM and I securing a legacy of inanity and silliness, well, we’re not the ones tilting at windmills.

  45. SOA: I believe my comment accused you of being “relatively sane.” Then I read your reply. I therefore wish to withdraw that comment.

  46. Rick Blaine! I believe you were quoted here not so long ago…

  47. OregonGuy: Thanks. Actually, those thoughts crossed my mind every time I went to the TK/AL blogs, which I stopped visiting a year ago. Unfortunately, there are small-minded visitors to every blog. Perhaps the high-mindedness here will chase them back to their caves, as may have occurred with GSC.

  48. MWLX: I was evidently provided with incorrect information that Mr. Lacob was a Republican and supporter of Meg Whitman.

  49. GovernorStephCurry

    I don’t like TK, i hate him. I like Felt’s writing when he isn’t talking about Nellie, but he’s so offbase about some stuff theres no point in reading if he keeps saying stuff like Tolliver > Amundson.
    Tolliver is a bad player. Bad rebounder, horrible defender, below average shooter, bad scorer. One of the worst finishers around the rim in the league. Good passer…thats it.
    Amundson is a very good rebounder, good defender, a great finisher, bad shooter, overall efficient scorer.
    Don’t criticize the Warriors for getting the much better player. Sure, he wasn’t heavilly pursued but as you know the league overvalues PPG and scoring and Lou isn’t great at that.
    And Jannero Pargo…simply one of the worst players to ever play in the NBA if we go off last season. His TS% was 43% last year. Holy crap, thats the worse i’ve ever seen for a full season of play. He took 1.6 more shots per36 than points scored. Not a good passer either. 3.9 assists per 36. Horrible player. Good thing we didn’t sign him.
    And i do agree with you that this team wasn’t moving away from Nellie; they got players that would fit well with him, but it was time to move on.

  50. Despite missing Nellie, we will get another chance to praise his talent evaluation skill this season. This is what he said of Reggie William late last season, a completely unknown D-Leaguer back then. Another hidden gem discovered by Nelson?
    “I think he has a gift,” said Nelson of Williams. “He doesn’t even know how big a gift he has because we have just dusted off the surface. He is a rare basketball player as far as I can see. He is able to have the mental capacity to understand the total game, read whose open, and read defenses and score. He’s not selfish but he knows he can score. I think I will be able to do a lot of things with him as we go along that is why I am so happy we signed him for next year.”

  51. SoA:

    Too early to tell but feltbot may not be wrong in his analysis of BW. Report from sfgate:
    Radmanovic vs. Wright: We’ve been told throughout training camp not to give much credence to jersey colors, but one surprising thing is clear: Vladimir Radmanovic is ahead of Brandan Wright in the chase for minutes.
    Radmanovic looks strong and has consistently made shots while working with the first and second teams. Wright has been tentative and largely unnoticed on the second and third teams.

  52. Rad was such a ghost last year. Does anybody know what was going on? Was it, in fact, his heel injury? He has size and some skills.

    It’s hard to know what’s going on with these guys. Mikki Moore actually had many good minutes. Then he looked like he was lagging — but he really was hurt. He said could barely dunk.

  53. Here are two pieces written about Don Nelson, each distinctive in their intended theme.

    The first was written last month and is as scathing as any I’ve read in regards to Nelson. (MWLX, I recommend skipping this link)

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Don-Nelson-quits-on-the-Warriors-Officially-th?urn=nba-272141

    The second piece was written over 3 years ago by a NY writer.

    http://select.nytimes.com/2007/03/02/sports/basketball/02araton.html?ref=don_nelson

    In the world of sports, there are always teams, coaches and players that people either love or hate. Absolutely zero middleground. These two articles showcase the fact that contempt and praise can indeed ride shotgun to the same person.

  54. I’m trying, really trying to find a bright side of this.
    My favorite aspect of Nellie was his unconventionality.
    Here’s what I’ve come up with in terms of bright side:

    – Smart is Nelson’s protege, so if anyone is going to take over, it might as well be him. The downside may be if he thinks that he has to distinguish himself from Nellie by swinging back to conventional “defense first, winning later”
    – Nellie is 70. I’m sure hoping I’m retired by 70. Maybe Nelson felt the same way, and just found a nice 6 Mill retirement gift. There are only so many coaches in the NBA — if Nelson, Brown and Jackson become the status quo, jobs will be few and far between for the younger generation.

    That’s as far as I’ve gotten in terms of bright side. I miss Nelson, but will keep following things for now.

  55. Steve!

    Why do you post someone’s idiotic blather? Up above, you posted some nonsense that included this gem of stupidity: “…Nelson hates big men….”

    Hmmm. Nelson himself was a big man when he played in the NBA, yet we’re supposed to believe he hates big men. But wait. He also hates young players, according to other idiots. So he plays only older small guys, right? And in your latest gem, some Yahoo yahoo says Nelson quit on the team years ago.

    My god, Steve. Do you actually think this crap serves a purpose? Of course, there are different views of Don Nelson, but could you please treat us to opinions written by someone with a brain? Really, Steve, I’m begging you.

  56. Greg Papa interviews Keith Smart and Reggie Williams. I was impressed with Smart in this interview. Hopefully he’ll continue to impress once the season starts.

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/pages/video?PID=p_EDb9JkdIsuycpL7S7k2SG_ceKYB7x2

  57. MWLX, I notice you didn’t comment about the other story, written by Harvey Araton? Is that because he has “a brain” compared to the “yahoo on Yahoo”? Or to Tim Kawakami? Or to anyone else who writes something overly-negative about Don Nelson? Is it just about Nelson, or do you only care to read the “pro” of any pro/con debate that finds you on the “pro” side of things?

    I mentioned Kawakami, who I happen to enjoy reading DESPITE disagreeing with much of what he writes. While he, IMO, goes too far at times to the point where he becomes a tabloid journalist, he definitely has “a brain”, yet I’m sure you would be upset if I posted anything here by Mr. Kawakami that spoke negatively about the Warriors.

    Look, I’m not going to continue to respond to your complaints about my posts that contain links to “idiotic blather”. I don’t want to ruin this blog for others, and if there are any other complaints from other bloggers I’ll discontinue posting. In the case of what you where responding to, I was looking for some recent stories on Nelson and came across that Yahoo piece. Yes, that actually did qualify as “hack journalism”, but I balanced it with what I thought was a very good story by Mr. Araton, albeit written three ago. Frankly, other than feltbot’s blog, try finding postive Don Nelson stories. You pretty much have to go back at least three years to do so. I subscribe to both the Chronicle and CC Times, and there are more than just one or two good writers here in the Bay Area. Yet, Nelson always seemingly brought out the worst in these guys. Monte Poole wrote a column a year ago trying to say that Jerry Sloan deserved induction into the HOF but Nelli didn’t. I remember it because I wrote a long email to him expressing my incredulity that he could write anything so absurd. And the beat goes on.

    Whether or not a writer is good or bad, great or horrible, is mostly subjective. Personally, I have no problems reading everything that’s out there, and regardless of whether or not the writer favorably portrays my favorite teams, players, and coaches. Again, if others feel even in the least like MWLX does, let me know.

    P.S. How about another Harvey Araton piece on Don Nelson for the road?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/04/sports/sports-of-the-times-knicks-never-valued-nelson-s-good-sense.html?ref=don_nelson

  58. Basketball for Dummies

    Hey felt good news! Jannero Pargo was jus waived by the Hornets. Maybe Nels will come back if we sign him as the backup point?

    Got a kick out of some of your flock criticizing Curse of Mullins & Son of Ahmed’s very “respectful” rebuttals.

    felt why don’t you educate your flock, particularly the annoying MWLX, how when you visit other blogs how rude, DISREPCTFUL, & anatagonistic you are? How you “Carpet bomb” sites using your many handles, including the “bfd” I’m using here for kicks?

    That cogniscenti word does that mean hypocrite??

  59. It will be interesting to see if Lacob retaining both Riley and Smart this year is a stop-gap measure or if they will be retained beyond this year. Only time will tell.

  60. BfD — Why would I want to dilute my brand? I have always been rude, disrespectful and antagonistic as feltbot, and feltbot alone.

    I saw the Pargo news; apparently he’s not the same player he was due to a gimpy knee. I’m guessing the Warriors would have cut him loose if they had signed him as well.

    The fact remains that the Ws don’t have a backup point guard this season, and that will hurt them.

  61. CURSE OF MULLIN

    Felty,
    It looks like SoA and I stirred the pot a bit here. You’re welcome. Now, back to the Nellie retrospective love-fest.

  62. Basketball for Dummies

    LOL

    ALL the feltbotS agree with you!!!

  63. CURSE OF MULLIN

    By the way I assume MWLX is “MikeW”? That would make sense to me. Snide, vacuous comments. Same as it ever was.

  64. basketball for dummies

    shhhhh Curse

    You don’t want to disturb felts BRAND

  65. Steve – It would be nice if you’d respond to a point I did make, rather than a point I didn’t make. You seem to think that if you post a stupid story critical of Don Nelson, you’ve balanced that dumb maneuver by simultaneously posting an intelligent story that praises Nelson. You also seem to think that I’m against the stupid story because it was critical of Nelson. Wrong twice.

    I’m against dumb writers, dumb opinions and dumb postings. Find an intelligent story critical of Nelson and I’m fine with it. So let me try to clarify my request. Please post intelligent stuff because it encourages intelligent thought and discussion, which is what makes the Felty blog stand above the rest. If you post dumb stuff, you provide a catalyst for dumb thought and discussion. What a concept.

  66. Wow! Who cut the cheese?!

    Can somebody open a window and air this thread out?

  67. MWLX,

    I am sooo against dumb posts too! It’s like you’re saying stuff that I’m thinking right before I think of it. And you use real good words to say real bad stuff about the stupid stuff that dumb people post about when they’re dumb…and stupid. Glad you’re one of us and not one of them. WE ARE THE CONGERATTI…WOO HOO!

  68. LinkMaster Steve,

    How dare you post a link that offends MW. Perhaps next time a warning would be in order?

    Oh, wait a minute:

    “The first was written last month and is as scathing as any I’ve read in regards to Nelson. (MWLX, I recommend skipping this link)”

    So you DID post a warning. Hmmm…don’t know how that was missed.

    Okay, LinkMaster, carry on then.

  69. Brytex, LOL. Actually, if anything, we need a little more stupidity around here. Helps to break up the monotony that us congressgetti can get into without even knowing it. Here, this should do the trick. (Feltbot, my apologies to your otherwise very sane and insightful blog)

  70. “Open Practice: Talking with Lee, Curry and Smart.”

    http://www.warriorsworld.net/open-practice-talking-with-lee-curry-smart/

  71. I think we all need a basketball game.

  72. Agreed rgg. 20 days…

  73. Brandon Wright, the forgotten man? I was never as big a fan of JR as a lot of other Warriors’ fans were so when they traded for Wright I was happy, but since I didn’t know much about Wright my feelings were based more on getting rid of JR. After watching BW flash signs of potential here and there early on I started thinking he was going to be a pretty good player. Then, the injuries started and here we are, back to the start of another season and that “potential” word again with BW.

    I love his hook shot, and if you listen to his interviews he seems like a pretty smart guy. He obviously needs to continue working on his strength issues, and some of that will come by just getting older….he’s still REALLY young. This is a big season for BW, for many reasons.

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2010/10/07/b-wright-looking-to-get-off-to-healthy-start/#more-2022

  74. Warriors open practice from Oracle…..Qtr 1 (courtesy GSOM)

  75. GSW open practice….Qtr 2

  76. Steve —

    I’ll cast one vote. You save me the trouble of hunting these things down. Thanks.

  77. Second that. Thanks for the linkage Steve.

  78. Didn’t have to go further than the :40 mark of the first video to see Brandan Wright blow a defensive rebound. That’s reason 1 why he’ll never be an NBA player…

  79. Son of Ahmed

    To paraphrase one of my favorites, there you go again, Felty.

    BWright has a good showing in practice and you cherry pick one little thing and try to build a case around it.

    I’m sure that Jennifer Garner has bad breath and messy hair in the morning, but that’s no reason to throw her out of the bed.

  80. While we’re adding links and only if anyone is curious:

    http://dgvcfaspring10.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/gloriously-pointless-a-personal-essay-by-gary-garvin/

    From Numero Cinq, a blog run by prize winning Canadian novelist Douglas Glover, also a friend. I’m a Davidson grad, and wrote this last year as a way of putting several things together. It’s a literary essay — I’m not bragging — but I do talk about the Davidson team, their run through the NCAA, and about Stephen Curry in particular. If curious, scroll through to find these parts. And I talk briefly about the Davidson/St. Mary’s game in the NIT. It wasn’t an important game, of course, but it gave me a chance, finally to see the team live. Every game means something.

    The essay also considers why we look at sports in the first place, and it might encourage thoughts of your own. Watching Davidson was exhilarating and inspiring. I had similar feelings watching the Warriors last year, and a few comparisons might be made.

    I’m working on a brief update, which should appear in a few days.

    A side note: I originally posted as “nivrag.” I post as “rggblog” not because I’m trying to promote my blog but because I get tired of logging in and out of WordPress. I keep forgetting my password.

  81. SOA, I’d much rather see Jennifer Garner in a Warrior’s uniform than BW…

  82. Son of Ahmed

    Well, Felty, you may have a point there.

  83. the real Basketball for Dummies

    Hi Felty, looks like some coward stole my handle and posted here. If the Nelsonaphobes are now cloning other Nelson fans on your blog, you must be doing something right. Keep up the good work and ask SOA how many championships Marc Cuban has bought Dallas;then ask him how many times he’s used that no championships argument against Nelson. LOLOL :0