Don Nelson to Be Elected Into the Hall of Fame

At long last, Don Nelson will head into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Journal Sentinel provides some context on the legendary former NBA coach and player’s long, illustrious career: “He was innovative and worked hard to learn his craft, after being thrown into a head coaching job in his first few months with the Milwaukee Bucks. Now at age 71 and the winningest coach in NBA history with 1,335 career victories, Don Nelson has been selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Nelson called friends and colleagues Wednesday after he got the news that he had been selected for the 2012 class, with the official announcement to be made Monday at the NCAA men’s Final Four in New Orleans. ‘It’s a great honor to cap my career,’ Nelson told ESPN. ‘I’ve had a great time and a great life coaching basketball. I don’t actually need to be rewarded for anything, but I am very proud and my family is very proud of this award.’ It all started in Milwaukee for Nelson, who was hired as a Bucks assistant coach by general manager Wayne Embry in September 1976. […] ‘Nellie’ had personality aplenty, too. Whether he was driving a tractor around the state to promote the Bucks or wearing one of his famous fish ties while scolding the referees, he won over Wisconsin’s basketball fans. Nelson also had two separate coaching stints with the Golden State Warriors, coached part of one season with the New York Knicks and had a successful run with the Dallas Mavericks, beginning in 1997. He never won a league title but was named NBA coach of the year three times, including the 1982-’83 and 1984-’85 seasons with the Bucks.”