Don Nelson sees key differences between Warriors, Celtics dynasties

Don Nelson sees key differences between Warriors, Celtics dynasties

Don Nelson has a unique perspective on the Warriors' recent run. 

The Basketball Hall of Famer was the sixth man for the 1965-66 Boston Celtics, whose appearance in the NBA Finals that season was their 10th in a row. The Celtics were the last team to make (at least) five consecutive Finals, until the Warriors joined them by completing a Western Conference finals sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Nelson, of course, also coached the Warriors for two stints, successfully pushing for the team to draft eventual two-time MVP Stephen Curry towards the end of his second go-round in 2009. 

So, how does he think these Warriors compare to those Celtics? He told Bay Area News Group's Mark Medina in an interview that he sees a couple of key differences. 

For one, even though Curry is considered by many to be the straw that stirs the Warriors' drink, Nelson doesn't think the Warriors' leadership comes from just one person. The Celtics dynasty centered around legendary center Bill Russell, whose leadership exploits rivaled his on-court dominance. Instead, Nelson sees "strength in numbers" as more than just a marketing catchphrase. 

"But all of the core guys are big leaders in their own way," Nelson told Medina. "They're all leaders, and nobody is the boss. That's really the way they do it. If you can have more than one guy as your leader and be as unselfish as those guys are, it makes it really easy."

There is also the nature in which the respective rosters were constructed. Nelson signed with the Celtics after he was cut by the rival Los Angeles Lakers, but unrestricted free agency did not exist at that point in the NBA. All but three of the 14 players to suit up for the Celtics in 1965-66 were drafted or acquired in a transaction with another team (one player was sold from the Warriors to the Celtics). 

By contrast, nine of the 17 players to suit up for the Warriors this season signed as free agents. 

“You have to remember one thing," Nelson told Medina. "We didn’t have free agency when Boston had their run. But these guys have done it with free agency there. In Boston, you couldn’t leave. You had to stay with the team forever. So it’s incredible. It’s a great story. I haven’t heard a story like that in forever.”

[RELATED: Why Raptors are better Finals matchup for Dubs than Bucks]

Nelson won a title with that aforementioned Celtics team, and if the Warriors are going to follow in their footsteps, he thinks the biggest key is getting Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins healthy. 

“Without Durant in the lineup and Cousins in the lineup, they’re going to have a hard time beating either team in the East," Nelson told Medina. "It’s not going to be easy. Let’s hope they’ll be back. They’ll need all the weapons they got.”

Steph Curry to face Kent Bazemore in golf simulator on Instagram Live

Steph Curry to face Kent Bazemore in golf simulator on Instagram Live

Steph Curry and Kent Bazemore are very good friends.

They were teammates on the Warriors during the 2012-13 season and the first several months of the 2013-14 campaign before Bazemore was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

They both love golf and both have a lot of free time on their hands.

So naturally, this is happening:

[RELATED: Why a Curry-hosted PGA Tour tournament in SF fell through]

You're probably tired of watching TV shows, so this is the perfect entertainment to mix things up.

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Why Warriors' Bob Myers wants roster to get 'more veteran' in offseason

Why Warriors' Bob Myers wants roster to get 'more veteran' in offseason

When the 2018-19 season began, the Warriors had the seventh-oldest roster in the NBA. When the 2019-20 season began, the Warriors had the third-youngest roster in the NBA.

"We got young quick," Golden State general manager Bob Myers recently said on a call with season-ticket holders. 

So as the Warriors' front office makes plans for the roster moving forward, one thing is pretty clear.

"I think one idea is to get a little older," Myers said. "Not super old but to add some guys that are a little bit more veteran and shore things up there.

"We were so young this year. Obviously, it was a transition year for us ... but we'll see what we can get. Free agency is always unpredictable. I always say it's predictably unpredictable. You don't know what $4 or $5 million is going to get you."

It's unclear if Myers was referring to the taxpayer mid-level exception when he mentioned "$4 or $5 million." That exception is supposed to be worth around $6 million, but it's expected to drop because of the loss in revenue with the league suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of now, the Warriors will have a very high first-round draft pick (projected top-five) and two second-round picks (from the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks). If all three selections are on the Opening Night roster next season, that would be the opposite of getting "a little bit more veteran."

Assuming they keep their first-rounder -- it's possible that the Warriors will end up trading the second-rounders, or maybe they hold on to them and sign those players to two-way contracts to free up roster spots for free-agent additions.

Money will be tight this offseason for most teams around the league, so there should be some very solid minimum-salary options for the Warriors.

"There probably will be certain players we like that we get outbid on," Myers said. "There may be some that we were surprised we have a chance to sign. There may be a lot of ties that we hope we can break if we get down into the conversation of signing a minimum player.

"You hope our organization, our leadership -- a guy like Steph Curry getting on the phone with a player, Steve Kerr coaching that player and getting on the phone with him -- would be beneficial."

[RELATED: Kerr reveals details on Dubs' free-agent scouting project]

Oh, and in case you missed this yesterday:

That's an elite wink.

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