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Thursday, April 8th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  34 responses

Don Nelson Has the Most Wins Ever

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

One of the most miserable record chases in NBA history came to an end in Minnesota last night, as Don Nelson notched win no. 1,333. He’s now one win ahead of Lenny Wilkens for the all-time mark. For the Warriors, it was only their 24th victory of the season.

For Nelson and his team, the record was more of a relief than anything else, as they celebrated in a somewhat subdued fashion following the game last night. Understandably, Nellie was in a reflective mood after setting the record.

The San Fran Chronicle has the details:

“Nellie hadn’t said one thing to us about the record. He just wanted to come out and coach and find ways to win some games with the people he has,” forward Corey Maggette said. “Until he got the record, he didn’t mention it. Then, he called us together and told us that he loves us.”

The on-court huddle included hugs for each member of the Warriors’ staff and roster and a dousing from a cup of water. The celebration, however, seemed forced in comparison with the emotion exhibited when Nelson tied the record with a one-point win at Toronto on Sunday. The best reactions Wednesday came behind closed doors, only the Warriors forgot to shut the locker-room door. They shook up cans of Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist and drenched the coach when he arrived from a courtside interview.

“When I was younger, I was a pretty tough coach and pretty emotional. I’ve tried to be less that and more Lenny Wilkens-like, and I think it has helped my career.” Nelson, who has always maintained that players win games and coaches lose them, seemed almost embarrassed to be passing Wilkens and would be comforted by not having the record very long. “There are plenty of guys close enough to break it, if they want to coach a couple of years,” Nelson said. “There are coaches who win them 50 or 60 at a time. They’re not like me, winning 20 at a time.”

Among active coaches, Nellie is now 145 wins ahead of Jerry Sloan for the record (with Phil Jackson and Larry Brown not too far behind.)

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  • Ken

    Probably the only bright spot for the Warriors this season, other than Steph Curry being a top 2 rookie pick.

  • Josh

    So glad Lenny doesn’t have it anymore. Nelly is cool.

  • Coney Islander

    I’d rather hold the record for championships!

  • AL29

    I hope Sloan gets it eventually. He deserves it more than anyone.

  • nastierthanu

    Congrats hope u enjoyed the ride

  • Sparty’s Law

    I like Nellie. He drinks beer during press conferences. That makes him cooler than coaches who do not drink beer during press conferences.

  • http://www.myspace.com/freedmusic fredd

    it won’t last … top coaches behind to take it sooner or later … but congrats to him, we may think it took a lot of L to get those W … it’s still something amazing to do as a coach, respect.

  • Michael Scorn

    Top 5 coaches ever.
    1. Phil Jackson
    2. Don Nelson
    3. Mike Dunleavy
    4. Red Auerback
    5. Mike Brown

  • I’m Not Famous

    I’ll be honest, I don’t even like the name “Sparty’s Law.” But the line “He drinks beer during press conferences. That makes him cooler than coaches who do not drink beer during press conferences.” Made me LOL. So a +1 to Sparty’s Law.
    Yes, I went to Michigan

  • TyMo

    Nellie’s postgame quote from last night pretty much sums it up: “I love my guys to death, but they’re a pain in the a** to coach sometimes.”

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    @Michael.. Mike Dun really?? wheres Sloan. Popavic (mis spelled spurs coach) Adleman.Larry Brown. Riley. Van Gundy brothers.

  • the_baller20

    i so glad for Nelli he definitely deserves it. he’s had a some pretty tough runes in his carrer. IT ABOUT TIME

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    @Michael.. Mike Dun . Mike Brown.really?? wheres Sloan. Popavic (mis spelled spurs coach) Adleman.Larry Brown. Riley. Van Gundy brothers.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    sorry for repeats. damn phone.

  • S. Ward La Flair

    @BossTerry- I was joking.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    haha. ok. hard to catch sarcasim in text..

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    who knows. a lot of younger guys on here might really think those are the best coaches.. I woulda put p.j. carlesimo at the top of that list.

  • Michael Scorn

    @BossTerry- I almost put his name down too.

  • Jake

    This is a little off topic….okay it’s a lot of topic but where is Steve Francis these days?Oh and has anyone had prolotherapy treatments?I’m trying to choose between that and surgery on a shoulder I dislocated yesterday at basketball.

  • Shem

    @Michael Scron: Did you seriously put Mike Dunleavy and Mike Brown in the top 5 coaches of all time?! Are you not forgetting Greg Pop or Jerry Sloan or Pat Riley or Lenny Wilkens. Jack Ramsay and Chuck Daly are up there. Cmon now!!

  • Sparty’s Law

    @ Shem: Please remove Lenny Wilkens’ name from your comment. He was a horrible coach who won a lot of games stickily due to longevity. He is also the losingest (making up words is fun) coach ever.

  • Michael Scorn

    I wish Slamonline could figure out a way to allow us to write serious comments in black and joking comments in red or something. I think this would help everyone.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    @Michael Comments in red are reserved for Chris Childs… or Charlie ward, hard to remember after all these years

  • Sparty’s Law

    @ Rubens: Comments in red are reserved for Charlie Ward. Punching Kobe in the neck is reserved for Chris Childs.

  • doyouwantmore

    NBA – Where meaningless winning happens.

  • Mr. Robinson

    One the most innovative coaches offensively in nba history.

  • Mr. Robinson

    Nellie is a gangster. He told Monta Ellis to shut the F*ck up. And Monta damn near cried.

  • Rusty

    lol @ im not famous

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Greg Popovich > Phil Jackson? Possibly…

  • RedRum

    Just a reminder: Wilkens had the most wins ever, but most loses ever as well… it is the winning percentage that counts, and in that respect Jax and Pop are on the top

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Respect/Congratulations to Nellie, though.

  • Michael Scorn

    All I know is Mike Brown was the coach of the year and Jerry Sloan was not last year. This coach of the year award is a bigger sham than MVP.

  • JoeMaMa

    Michael, Mike Brown merely accepted the award. On behalf of Lebron. And Teddy, I’m a die hard Spurs fan, and love Popovich, but you can’t argue with 10 championships and Phil’s winning percentage. He’s the ultimate closer. Phil’s #1…with Red as 1a

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    I’ve not lost a single game coaching in the NBA.

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