In just five more wins, Don Nelson would become the NBA’s all-time winningest coach. An amazing accomplishment.
In just 12 more games, Don Nelson is sure to be fired.
Welcome to the Golden State version of Beat The Clock.
With the announcement that the Warriors are up for sale, it became almost inevitable that a house cleaning is coming this summer. The front office staff will be gone, and while Nelson has one more year at $6 million left on his deal, the new owner almost certainly will eat that cost in order to get a fresh new start.
If you want to piss Nelson off, ask him about passing Lenny Wilkens to become the NBA’s all-time winningest coach. He won’t discuss it and will shoot you this perturbed look. Trust us, we know.
But to be that close — to have 1,328 and need just 1,332 to tie — after having been an NBA coach since 1976, there is a part of him that wants this to happen. It’s human nature. And at age 70, he’s not getting another gig, this is it. (He has said he doesn’t want another one, either.)
So the clock is ticking. A dozen games remain, he needs to win five to take the record. That’s a lot for this young Warriors team with a lot of talent but a system that never really puts teams away, and a lack of concern about defense. But then, those are things instilled by the coach, so whatever happens just may be fitting.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.