One does not win more games than any other NBA coach in history if one is not smart.
Don Nelson is smart, he knows what is happening with Golden State. He knows there is new ownership, he knows there are plans to let him go.
So he is not coming back to the Bay Area until he gets a call from the team, Nelson told FanHouse’s Sam Amick. And if you’re going to wait for a call, Maui is about the best place on the globe to do it.
“(I’m here) until I get a call to come home,” Nelson said with a laugh Thursday when asked when he might return to Oakland, Calif. “I know nothing.”
“It’s just part of the business of basketball, really,” Nelson said of the uncertainty. “I’m doing the same thing I’ve done every summer on my time off. Nothing has really changed.”
Front man for the new owners Joe Lacob has hinted that Nelson will be let go at some point. But that point could be after this season — Nelson is owed $6 million for the coming campaign. That is money he collects whether he sits on the Warriors sideline or in his waterfront Maui home. And when you factor in the $4 million or so for a new coach to replace him, that’s a lot of money for ownership to spend, particularly owners who had to outbid one of the world’s richest men just to get the team a month ago.
Nelson may return to the Warriors for one more season. He may not. He doesn’t know. He’s just waiting on a call.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.