This just in: Nelly wants to join the Wolves?
No, not that Nelly. THIS Nelly:
Please click "Read More" to see what this all means...
Yes, that's right... THE Don Nelson, the chubby belly scratching one, the one who's really good at coaching up-tempo basketball, THAT Nelly wants to come to Minnesota... But wait; WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
So with that little piece of YouTube nostalgia out of the way, I'll link to the REAL story.
Former Bucks, Mavericks, and Warriors Coach Don Nelson, who spent last winter chillaxing at his beach house in Maui and who is the winningest coach in NBA history is interested in giving it all up to coach our very own lovable losers, the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Now, I will preface the rest of this post by saying that, in my professional opinion, the term "loser" applies to our current squad only in terms of actual Wins and Losses over the last couple of years (since no one on our current roster was on the team before Kahn started in 2009 except Love, who threw up a pedestrian 11/9 in 25 mpg as a Rook, and Telfair, who has since left the team and returned, and is unlikely to make the squad this coming year anyway. All of these guys have played for winning teams their entire lives, and the last couple of years have probably been awful for most of them to experience.
The point to be made here is that by and large, no one on our current roster is accustomed to losing at any level (with the exception of the last couple years), and there is a certain talent level which has been accumulated that at some point will prevail. Sure, there have been those who criticize the redundancy in positional talent that has been acquired, but talent is talent, and hoopers are hoopers. And hooper is now one of my favorite insider terms, thanks to one Mr. Mike Beasley.
Even if you don't buy the "a rising tide raises all ships" argument, the fact that Nelson wants to come coach our team is an encouraging sign for the many seventeen remaining Timberwolves fans. It means that actual, legitimate professional minds other than the collective genius that is the TWB Community recognize the talent of our younguns and want to be a part of building on their success.
The question remains whether Taylor, one of the notoriously cheap owners in the league, will shell out for the likes of Nelly. We'll leave that question for another day, another post.
In the meantime let's ponder what a Nelly-led Timberwolves team might look like:
- According to Basketball Reference, Nelly's teams have made the playoffs in 18 of his 31 seasons (or 58%)
- Nelson tends to take over bad teams and make them respectable. He seems to enjoy the challenge.
- Each of Nelson's teams have made the playoffs within his first 2 full seasons (he had 3 losing seasons in Dallas before making the playoffs in 2000-2001, but the first season he took over 16 games into the season for Jim Cleamons, the second was the strike shortened 98-99 campaign, and the third was a respectable 40-42 season in 99-00)
- In the five seasons spent with Dallas from 2000-2005, Nelson's teams were 58 games over 0.500.
- By comparison, Rambis was 100 games under 0.500 over the past two seasons alone.[/li] [li]Nelly's Dallas teams thrived with Steve Nash, who many feel has a similar approach to the point guard position that Rubio could bring.
- For all of his positives, Nelly has been followed by drama and clashes with ownership in both Dallas and Golden State.
So, I ask you again double rainbow fans- WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN???
Well, I'll tell you this... Based on zero scientific analysis, my professional conclusion is that a Nelly-led T-Wolves team should be:
- More competitive
- Better prepared
- Higher scoring
- Higher drama
- Have more input from the coach on basketball-related decisions (we can hope, right?)
If nothing else, bringing in Nelly should make it obvious this season that our coach has a pulse (last season at times when the cameras would cut to the Wolves' bench, I thought maybe I was watching TrueBlood, or the Twilight series- and I've promised myself never to watch, or even reference the Twilight series... that's how bad things were).
I'd like to once again interject that it is very possible that Taylor won't want to shell out for Nelly- but at 71, if you are the winningest coach in league history, and you own a winter home in Maui, and you were just paid $6 million for a year in which you didn't even have to coach, are you really contacting Dave Kahn because you're hard up for the money? No. You're coaching because you have coaching in your blood, and because you recognize the potential that this young team has and because it would be an affront to the game to allow the developmental years of Rubio, Love, Beasley, Wes Johnson, Randolph, Webster, and Derrick Williams (I'll throw Malcolm Lee in there for good measure) go to waste by being mishandled by a lesser coach. You want to see how good those guys can be, and if it means you spend some time with your grandkid during the season, hey- that's an added bonus.
So, in closing, we can only hope that Kahn is able to reconcile Nelly's financial requirements and Mr. Taylor's penny pinching ways and make this dream a reality.
Dave K, Glen T, if you're out there reading this, make it happen. Don, if you're out there chilling on a beach in Maui sipping a margarita, I hope you take at least one day and get up at 4 am to drive up the East side of the island and enjoy the chance to see the sunrise from the peak of the Haleakala Volcano- there are only so many transcendent things that one can experience on earth, and to watch the sunrise from on top of the world is definitely one of them. I salute you, and hope that you are able to join the organization next year.