OAKLAND -- Don Nelson is back in the Bay Area this week inadvance of his induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame on Sept. 7. Earlier thisweek, Nelson met with a group of writers over lunch, and later in the day hetaped an hour-long segment for Chronicle Live, which will air next Thursday the day before his induction.Nelson, 72, who had two stints coaching the Warriors, is theNBAs all-time winningest coach. Here are some snippets of what hesaid:On the Warriors trading Monta Ellis to the Buckslast season:Nelson: I really like what theyve done. As muchas I love Monta I thought he was just because of his size and not his ability,a 6-3 two guard its very hard to win with a small two guards in our league.When I first had him, I tried to get him to think more like a point guard ifhe could ever be a point guard.He did have the ability to pass. He does have that. Hesdoing more of that now. But you know, a player has to be willing to see thatand to do those things. His approach when he was younger was a like a lot ofguys. Hes not ready to do that. So he was going to be what he was. But nowhes more of an all-around player than Ive seen out of him.He is passing more and seeing players. Hes a good teammatenow. When he was young he was just he thought he was so dominant that hecould do all these things that we witnessed that he can do. He can get you 35(points) in a game and thats what he wanted to do. Now that hes maturing,hes a better basketball player.On the Mitch Richmond-for-Billy Owens trade:Nelson: I remember when I said, which is true, itwas the worst trade I ever made -- Mitch Richmond for Billy Owens. Ive saidit more than once. I hurt Billys feelings and I didnt know it. I should haveknown it but I didnt. He finally came to me one time and we sat down andtalked about that. I probably shouldnt have said that.On being a players coach and allowing his playersmore freedom than most coaches: Nelson: Its just the importance of every game isso much greater now than when I first broke in. So much pressure to win, win,win. Coaches want more control over the game, stay in game. Once in a while itdoesnt work out, you get blown out. I always tried to train my players to dothat on the floor train them in practice so I didnt have to do that in thegames.Ive over-coached in my career as well, though, especiallywhen I didnt have a good point guard. Then you have to do more of it if youdont have the leadership on your team. My style would be more like theinternational rules where the coach doesnt have as much control. You cantcall timeout every two mistakes. Its harder to do that stuff. I think thoseare good things for the game. Itsbit different game now. There are only a couple of guys who play like Ilike to play that are left in the game.On finally making it into the Hall ofFame:Nelson: I kind of always felt I was undeservingto be there. So when I kept getting voted down three or four times I justdidnt think Id make it. And I still feel unworthy, really, so somebody votedfor me, I guess.But there are so many guys more deserving than me. AlAttles. Why isnt he in? Guys like (Bill) Fitch and (Dick) Motta why arentthey in there? So that I made it doesnt seem quite right but I guess thereare a lot of things that arent quite right.
When the Warriors set foot in FedEx Forum on Saturday, they’ll find a very different atmosphere as well as a barely recognizable team of Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grindhouse is not the same. Zach Randolph and Vince Carter have left the building. So, too, has the “Grindfather” himself, Tony Allen.
So in their only trip to Memphis this season, the Warriors will focus mostly on point guard Mike Conley and center Marc Gasol, the remaining core members of the team that reached the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons.
The Warriors (1-1) will be playing for the second night in a row, while the Grizzlies (1-0) have not played since their season opener Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
Warriors by 8.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Stephen Curry vs. Mike Conley: Curry has a long memory, and he will remember not only that the Warriors last season lost twice to the Grizzlies but also that Conley’s 27 points and clutch play offset Curry’s 40 points and led Memphis to an overtime win in Oakland. It won’t matter to Curry that the Warriors posted double-digit wins over the Grizzlies in the last two meetings last season. He may want to take over.
Warriors: F Omri Casspi (L ankle sprain) is listed as questionable.
Grizzlies: F JaMychal Green (L ankle sprain), G Ben McLemore (R foot surgery) and G/F Wayne Selden Jr. (R quad injury) are listed as out.
RECENT SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have won five of the last seven in Memphis and 10 of the last 13 meetings overall.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
BREEZE OR WHEEZE: Coach Steve Kerr has expressed some concern about the team’s conditioning level. On the second night of their first back-to-back set -- with the Warriors arriving at the hotel at 2:30 a.m. -- it could provide a glimpse of their progress. Kerr said he would consider resting one or two players. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, both coming off injuries, would seem logical candidates.
GEORGIA VS. SPAIN: The Republic of Georgia’s Zaza Pachulia and Spain’s Marc Gasol know each other well, having spent years battling internationally and in the NBA. There will be no surprises, but Pachulia will have to avoid foul trouble to remain a part of his team’s defensive rotation against one of the league’s best big men.
HOT KLAY: Klay Thompson is off to a torrid start, shooting 11-of-18 from beyond the arc through the first two games. And now he won’t have to worry about Allen, who relished in opportunities to defend the Warriors All-Star. Memphis replaced Allen with Andrew Harrison, who is not in the Grindfather’s class as a defender.
Klay Thompson is putting his money where his mouth is.
Shortly before Noon PT on Friday, Klay posted a 30-second video to Twitter to let it be known that he is donating to the North Bay fire relief.
"Hey everyone. As we all know, Northern California has been tragically effected by these wildfires for the past few weeks.
And I will be pledging $1,000 per point I score for the next three home games. And you can donate as well by clicking on the link below.
We will be donating to the Redwood Credit Union's fire relief efforts. Let's stick together because a lot of loved ones and families have been displaced and lost from these terrible events.
Property has been damanged but we can build this thing back up if we stick together and donate.
Thank you for listening."
The Warriors' next three home games are:
1) October 25 vs Toronto (18.7 points over 11 career games)
2) October 27 vs Washington (18.4 points over 11 career games)
3) October 29 vs Detroit (18.2 points over 11 career games)
Hopefully the Warriors will be able to create a lot of good looks for Klay during that stretch...
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller