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Friday, September 24th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  16 responses

Keith Smart to Replace Don Nelson as Coach

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

As soon as the new ownership was in place for the Golden State Warriors, there were signs that Don Nelson’s reign would soon come to an end. And last night, those suspicions turned into fact.

Don Nelson is out
; as of Monday, Warriors assistant coach Keith Smart will be in the big chair on the bench.

According to the local press, Smart is quite popular with the players. From the Contra Costa Times:

[Players] all said they’d rather Don Nelson to be back, but if the team went a different direction, their vote was for Keith Smart. Certainly, Smart has the support in the locker room. And he makes the most sense because of the timing. He has already prepped for training camp (he and Stephen Silas did on their own) and he already has a rapport with the players. He has been groomed by Nelson, in Nelson’s system. Also, he’s young enough and inexperienced enough to allow the Warriors to put him on a trial basis.

But is he the guy for the future? Smart has at least earned a shot to prove it. He’s been the model assistant for six years now. He’s been doing more than most any assistant coach in the league – running practices, orchestrating the defense, putting out Nellie fires — in addition to his regular game duties.Plus, Smart is hardly too expensive to replace. Owner Joe Lacob said he had a “multi-year arrangement.” That sounds like he’s under contract for a few years, and if he doesn’t work as the head coach, he would have the ability to go back to being an assistant.

It remains to be seen just how long of a leash Keith Smart will be given by his new bosses, and what kind of learning curve they’ll be willing to tolerate.

The Don Nelson Era — a brilliant, confusing, endlessly frustrating era — has come to an end. But not before he finishes collecting on the full $6 million remaining on his contract.

In 31 seasons, Nelson compiled a record of 1,335-1,063.

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  • JTaylor21

    Damn, thought y’all talking bout Keith Sweat making it last forever.

  • Fat Lever

    Hahahaha @ J. Terrible timing, less than a week before camp. I know they had to wait to turnover ownership, but can’t imagine this is good for their outlook for the season.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    best wishes to don nelson

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Excellent situation for the Warriors. Keith’s deserved this position for a while. Not an interim, either. Fantastic for Bay Area fans.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com zee!

    Yesss…..YESSSS!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    YES! It’s damn near a double rainbow for Dubs fans.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    He orchestrated their defense? That’s a reason for him not to get the job. I actually thought Mike Brown would have gotten a shot. A defensive minded coach going to that system makes sense to me. He would be able to change the offense up too much anyway, but could bring some defense to it and round the team out. Oh well, MB may never get a shot again.

  • Yesse

    Too bad he is out.

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    nupe,
    mike brown to the warriors would be like terry porter coaching the suns

  • JTaylor21

    Mr. Potato head would probably exploded when asked to draw up an offensive set.

  • HEHATEME

    LET DONNIE COACH THE COWBOYS!!! STAMP ITT!!

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Somewhere in Oakland right now, Nellie is sittin’ in a condo sippin’ a Coors and watching a blu ray copy of- Grumpy old men..

  • erich

    smart move

  • kaboom

    and stephen jackson was right (again )talking about donnie’s last contract year in G.state a couple of months ago when he left the bay..

  • andy

    LOL @ jtaylor

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    So will Curry and Monta still have inflated stats?

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