This Nellie to Minnesota thing may actually be happening. Ye Gods.

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If it takes two to tango, the unholy dance of David Kahn and Don Nelson together is halfway to the dance floor. After rumors popped up earlier this week of a potential meeting between the two for Nelson to take over as head coach following Kurt Rambis’ departure, Jerry Zgoda of the Minnesota Star-Tribune spoke with Nelson from his home in Maui and the 70-year-old talent-burying, beer-swilling, run-and-gun-and-run-some-more Hall of Famer made it pretty clear. He wants to coach again in Minnesota.

Don Nelson will gladly trade those breezy Hawaiian trade winds for Minnesota winters and the chance to coach again, this time with the Timberwolves.

“I think it’d be a great fit,” he said. “I love Minnesota.”

“They have an opening,” Nelson said, “and I don’t have a job.”

via NBA coaching great Don Nelson: ‘I love Minnesota’ | StarTribune.com.

Now, that’s just Nelson wanting in. But at this late stage in the game, with most of the assistants who would take a gig for a team like Minnesota already snatched up, and with veterans like Rick Adelman wanting more control over the franchise, Nelson could look pretty good to Kahn. The Wolves brought in Nelson, so there must be a level of interest to start, and since it’s reciprocated, publicly, this thing has some long legs.

Granted, those legs can’t move laterally to keep defensive position, but still.

Zgoda also spoke to Nelson about Anthony Randolph who Nelson coached as a rookie and sophomore (and buried for the most part), with Nelson saying some unflattering things, and saying the same kind of things about Michael Beasley. But Nelson believes that the Wolves need to be better defensively, and that they can be that because they have Kevin Love who rebounds. Even though that has zero impact on actually stopping easy shots. Or that Nelson hasn’t been known to help a team defensively in the past twenty years. But whatever, just go with it, he’s rolling (hopefully not literally).

Nelson is used to coaching young teams. This team’s young. He needs talented guards. He’s got one in Ricky Rubio. His teams need versatile big men. He’s got Kevin Love.

But for a fanbase that has yearned for a winner for… well, ever, Nelson has to look like a horror movie figure walking into their place as their new roommate. Dibs on the remote!

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.

DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’

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DeMarcus Cousins grew up in Alabama, played collegiately at Kentucky and now plays in New Orleans.

So, yeah, the Pelicans star has an opinion on Confederate statues.

Cousins, via TMZ:

“Take all them motherf*ckers down,” Cousins said … “Take ’em all down.”

These statues glorify people because they fought a war against the United States in the name of preserving the racist institution of slavery.

Not whom I want to honor, either.

Kevin Durant: Kyrie Irving-LeBron James situation ‘just a regular NBA problem’

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Kevin Durant knows something about star teammates not always getting along.

So, the Warriors forward is not freaking out about the disconnect between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and Irving’s subsequent trade request.

Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”

Durant is definitely right in the larger sense. Teammates spat and requests trades more often than we realize. Remember, both Irving and the Cavaliers probably prefer this never became public.

But I’m not sure Cleveland will figure this out with the ease Durant suggests. David Griffin, who had proven so adept at putting out these fires, is gone. LeBron’s free agency looms. This could be extremely destructive to the Cavs.

The fact that this “regular NBA problem” became public only intensifies it – and raises it something greater.

Report: Heat signing Jordan Mickey

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Jordan Mickey – the No. 33 pick by the Celtics in 2015 – became the first second-round pick in memory to sign the year he was drafted and receive a higher initial salary than first-round picks.

He’s keeping the checks coming.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Mickey will be the Heat’s 16th player with a standard contract, though Matt Williams (unguaranteed) will likely be waived to meet the regular-season roster limit.

I’m not sure where Mickey fits on this team, which already has several bigs. Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will likely play ahead of him. Miami also has A.J. Hammons (who might be just dead salary) and Udonis Haslem (who might provide nothing more than veteran leadership).

The Heat could just see Mickey as someone they can develop. At that point, how he fits into the current roster doesn’t really matter.

Mickey – 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan – is a mobile defender with nice timing for blocking shots inside. He even possesses a work-in-progress 3-pointer in his arsenal. There’s plenty for Miami to help mold.