NELSON ELECTED TO HALL OF FAME


Former Warriors Head Coach Don Nelson has been elected to the 2012 class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The NBA’s all-time winningest coach will officially be enshrined during a special ceremony this summer in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Nellie spent 11 seasons as the Warriors Head Coach and has more than 46 years in the NBA as a player, coach and executive. In those roles, he has appeared in more games than anyone else in league history. Warriors.com takes a look back at the legendary career of the Muskegon, Michigan native that became an innovative NBA icon.


COACH W L PCT
Don Nelson 1,335 1,063 .557
Lenny Wilkens 1,332 1,155 .536
Jerry Sloan 1,221 803 .603
Pat Riley 1,210 694 .636
Phil Jackson 1,155 485 .704
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  • Ex-Celtic Don Nelson gets rightful place in Hall of Fame - Bob Ryan, Boston Globe
  • Don Nelson built Hall of Fame resume in odd style - Scott Ostler, SF Chronicle
  • Hall of Fame makes Don Nelson wait, but his election is deserved - Tim Kawakami, SJ Mercury News
  • Don Nelson calls his Hall of Fame selection 'frosting on the cake' - Carl Steward, Bay Area News Group
  • Two personas, Don Nelson and Nellie, lead to same Hall of Fame road - Monte Poole, Bay Area News Group
  • Hall of Fame honor not all that pleases Don Nelson - Mark Emmons, SJ Mercury News
  • Don Nelson proud of resume, happy to be in Hall - SF Chronicle
  • Don Nelson gets Hall of Fame call - Jeff Kaplan, ESPNDallas.com
  • Nelson 1,333, Wilkens 1,332 - Rusty Simmons, SF Chronicle
  • Nelson becomes NBA's all-time leader in wins - Marcus Thompson II, CC Times
  • Nelson becomes NBA's winningest coach - Jon Krawczynski, AP
  • Nelson leaves a legacy as one of NBA's true characters - Art Garcia, NBA.com
  • For the record: Nellie talks career - Marc Stein, ESPN.com
  • Lenny Wilkens hands it to Don Nelson - Curtis Pashelka, Oakland Tribune
  • Wilkens Offers Congratulations to Nelson - Chris Tomasson, Fanhouse.com
  • Memorable finish to Nelson's record-tying win - Rusty Simmons, SF Chronicle
  • Genius Of A Mad Scientist - Chris Ballard, Sports Illustrated
  • Finish may cement Nelson's place in Hall, history - Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com
  • In NBA lore, Nelson never comes up short - Bob Ryan - Boston Globe

  • The winningest coach in NBA history, Don Nelson spent 11 seasons over two separate stints with the Golden State Warriors.

    In his 31st and final season as an NBA head coach, Nelson surpassed Lenny Wilkins for the most coaching victories in NBA history. In fact, over 46 years in the NBA as a player, coach, general manager or consultant, no one has participated in more games as a player and head coach than the 3,451 that “Nellie” has notched in his career.

    One of only two coaches in league history to earn NBA Coach of the Year honors on three different occasions (1983, 1985 with Milwaukee, 1992 with Golden State), Nelson has enjoyed coaching stints in four NBA cities, having served in Milwaukee (1976-1987), Golden State (1988-1995, 2006-10), New York (1995-96) and Dallas (1997-2005).

    Nelson’s head coaching career began in 1976 when he was promoted to head coach/director of player personnel for the Milwaukee Bucks. Over the next 11 seasons in Milwaukee, Nelson would amass a 540-344 record while guiding the team to seven-straight Midwest Division titles between 1979-1986.

    Among his many honors, Nelson was named one of the top-10 coaches in NBA history by a panel of former coaches and players during the league's 50th anniversary season in 1997. He also coached DreamTeam II to a gold medal at the 1994World Championships.

    In 14 seasons as an NBA player, Nelson averaged 10.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in 1,053 contests. After two seasons with the Lakers, he was waived and signed as a free agent by the Boston Celtics in October, 1965. In 11 seasons with the Celtics, he was a member of five NBA Championship teams (1966, 1968, 1969, 1974 and 1976). His retired uniform #19 was raised to the Boston Garden rafters in 1978.

    Born on May 15, 1940, in Muskegon, Michigan, Don Arvid Nelson was a two-time All-American at Iowa, where he graduated in 1962. Don married Joy Wolfgram on June 19, 1991, in a ceremony that was held on the Warriors’ court inside the Oakland Coliseum. Nelson has five grown children, Julie, Donn, Christie, Katie and Lee.

    REGULAR SEASON POST-SEASON
    YEAR TEAM WINS LOSSES PCT WINS LOSSES PCT
    1976-77 Milwaukee 27 37 .422 0 0 .000
    1977-78 Milwaukee 44 38 .537 5 4 .556
    1978-79 Milwaukee 38 44 .463 0 0 .000
    1979-80 Milwaukee 49 33 .598 3 4 .429
    1980-81 Milwaukee 60 22 .732 3 4 .429
    1981-82 Milwaukee 55 27 .671 2 4 .333
    1982-83 Milwaukee 51 31 .622 5 4 .556
    1983-84 Milwaukee 50 32 .610 8 8 .500
    1984-85 Milwaukee 59 23 .720 3 5 .375
    1985-86 Milwaukee 57 25 .695 7 7 .500
    1986-87 Milwaukee 50 32 .610 6 6 .500
    1988-89 Golden State 43 39 .524 4 4 .500
    1989-90 Golden State 37 45 .451 0 0 .000
    1990-91 Golden State 44 38 .537 4 5 .444
    1991-92 Golden State 55 27 .671 1 3 .250
    1992-93 Golden State 34 48 .415 0 0 .000
    1993-94 Golden State 50 32 .610 0 3 .000
    1994-95 Golden State 14 31 .311 0 0 .000
    1995-96 New York 34 25 .576 0 0 .000
    1997-98 Dallas 16 50 .242 0 0 .000
    1998-99 Dallas 19 31 .380 0 0 .000
    1999-00 Dallas 40 42 .488 0 0 .000
    2000-01 Dallas 53 29 .646 4 6 .400
    2001-02 Dallas 57 25 .695 4 4 .500
    2002-03 Dallas 60 22 .732 10 10 .500
    2003-04 Dallas 52 30 .634 1 4 .200
    2004-05 Dallas 42 22 .656 0 0 .000
    2006-07 Golden State 42 40 .512 5 6 .455
    2007-08 Golden State 48 34 .585 0 0 .000
    2008-09 Golden State 29 53 .354 0 0 .000
    2009-10 Golden State 26 56 .309 0 0 .000
    TOTALS . 1,335 1,063 .557 75 91 .452


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