Don Nelson Ends Season in His Own, Bizarre Way

by April 15, 2010
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Last night’s Blazers/Warriors game gave Nellie another opportunity to show the world just how crazy he get. Beyond the Beat captures the wild scene: “With 4:47 left in the game, Devean George fouled out of the game. Or at least he thought he did. What ensued was an awkwardly strange exchange between official Eddie F. Rush and Nelson that lasted for the rest of the game and continued long after. First, an already injured Chris Hunter – who started and only played four minutes to that point because of a sore knee – checked in for George. Nelson argued with Rush. Rush argued with Nelson. Hunter stayed in the game. After a member of the Warriors training staff fetched Ronny Turiaf’s knee brace, Turiaf subbed for Hunter who then retreated to the locker room. Seven seconds later, an injured Anthony Morrow subbed for Turiaf, who also fled to the locker room. Morrow checked out seconds later and also exited. Weird. That left Nelson with George, who re-entered the game with six fouls and Golden State received the technical foul. After the game, Coach Nelson pled his case: ‘I really only had five guys and they played 48 minutes. All those guys have great stamina to get through a game like that and win it. I’m very proud of them. It was a pretty special game for us. It was predetermined in warm-ups that two of my players couldn’t play. To force those guys on the court is a legal issue a think. That’s not right. I have another player injured in the game and he wasn’t going to return. That was clear. I said I only have five left. The rule reads if you have five players and a player fouls, it’s a technical foul and the two free throws. They made me put an injured player back in the game. That’s not right. I begged them – read the rule, call the league, do something. That’s not the rule. You cannot be forced to put an injured player in the game.”‘