Warriors Reportedly Ready To Replace Don Nelson With Keith Smart

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Report: New Warriors Ownership Wanted Don Nelson Out

This summer has been all about change for the Golden State Warriors, with a new ownership group coming in willing to spend and turn around arguably the most dysfunctional organization in basketball (save, maybe, for the Clippers). Don Nelson was one member of the organization who represented the old guard. 

So it's only natural that Nelson's "retirement" wasn't really much of a retirement at all. As Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports report, the new Warriors ownership group was willing to eat Nelson's $6 million salary to get him out of the picture. This of course was fine with Nelson, who now gets to make money for not working.

New Warriors owner Joe Lacob was determined to replace Nelson as coach, and Nelson, sources said, was glad to take his money and return to retirement in Hawaii.

[...]

"I don't think the new owner liked Nelson's style of coaching. That's what it boils down to," a source with knowledge of the situation told Y! Sports' Marc Spears. "They're saying he quit, but Lacob wanted to go in a different direction."    

Lacob is right to want to go in a different direction. Keith Smart, Nelson's replacement, is a good, promising coach. I suspect the Warriors will be much better off with him officially in charge.

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Warriors Reportedly Ready To Replace Don Nelson With Keith Smart

The soon-to-be officially recognized new ownership of the Golden State Warriors has reportedly asked coach Don Nelson to retire. In his place, the team is expected promote assistant Keith Smart by the end of the week, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

Under that scenario, Smart will be in place for media day on Monday and the first day of practice on Tuesday. Nelson had one year left on his deal in his second career stint with the Warriors. Nelson has said previously that he would understand if the new ownership group wanted to start fresh with a new coach and it appears that is indeed their wish. Besides, Nelson had said that this coming season was likely to be his last in coaching. Nelson will reportedly still receive the remaining $6 million left in his contract.

Nelson, who turned 70 years old in May, last season won his 1,330th game on April 7 to become the winningest coach in league history.

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