Warriors' Steve Kerr credits Don Nelson's innovations for modern NBA


Warriors' Steve Kerr credits Don Nelson's innovations for modern NBA

OAKLAND – In his latest moment without ego, Warriors coach Steve Kerr acknowledged Thursday that he studies and steals from the book of Don Nelson.

Moreover, Kerr, who has won three championships in four seasons with the Warriors, insists he’s not the only NBA coach to do so.

“Nellie was ahead of his time,” Kerr said prior to tipoff against the Sacramento Kings. “All the stuff you’re seeing teams do now – playing small and playing up-tempo – he was doing that 40 years ago in Milwaukee.”

Nelson made the trip from his Maui home to Oracle Arena to be present as the Warriors honored the 2006-07 “We Believe” team that he coached to perhaps the biggest upset in NBA postseason history.

Now 78, Nelson took two turns coaching the Warriors, first from 1988-1995, and later from 2006-2010 before retiring. Among his unorthodox strategies were utilizing forwards to initiate offense (“point forward”), playing forwards at center (as Kerr often does with Draymond Green) to increase the pace, using isolation offense whenever there was a perceived advantage.

“He didn’t really get a whole lot of credit for the revolution that’s going on now,” Kerr said, “but he was ahead of his time.”

Nelson’s coaching career spanned 35 years, beginning with the Bucks in 1976. He also coached the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks.

[RELATED: Nelson says he's 'been smoking some pot since retiring]

Though he’s No. 1 on the all-time wins list (1,333), Nelson never was able to reach the NBA Finals, much less win a championship.

Coaching the No. 8 seed “We Believe” Warriors, led by Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson, to a first-round playoff victory over top-seeded Mavericks surely ranks among Nelson’s most satisfying achievements.

That series undoubtedly put the final punctuation on a coaching career that landed Nelson in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.

Who is Warriors' ideal offseason addition using mid-level exception?

Who is Warriors' ideal offseason addition using mid-level exception?

Some of the best and --- let's be honest -- worst conversations regarding the Warriors take place on social media. 

Strong voices and opinions of Dub Nation defend or criticize their squad, not afraid to share their thoughts with absolute authority. Many of these personalities live on Twitter, where everyone can be a general manager, coach, critic, troll and/or hot-taker. 
In our Warriors Twitter Roundtable, we will share a five-part series of questions designed to touch on the major conversations floating around the Warriors Twitter world. Answering the questions will be a panel of some of the more prominent and revered voices within the community.
Part 1 had our panel name the five best players in the NBA, while Part 2 answered whether or not the Warriors should be considered contenders right now. Here is Part 3:
Who is your ideal (and reasonably realistic) addition for the Warriors using the mid-level exception? 

@poormanscommish: I am definitely not the “Trade Machine” type, especially when the NBA title hasn’t even been determined and neither has the draft, which should reveal a lot about how (Warriors GM) Bob Myers intends to construct his 2020-21 roster. So there are tons of moving parts to this and usually I just sit back and watch how the cookie crumbles -- Warriors fans: You should try this! But to answer your question, I’m going to just go for the holy grail and hope the Raptors falter in the bubble (unlikely, I know), their GM Masai Ujiri starts a rebuild, and Marc Gasol accepts Bob’s MLE offer on what would be an epic-looking championship-contending starting five, as compared to max contract offers Gasol would get from bad teams. 

@samesfandiari: Marc Gasol. High IQ player that can pass, shoot and defend.  I view him like I view (Andre) Iguodala or (Andrew) Bogut. Beyond being a good player, his skillset amplifies those of the core players and takes the collective to a higher level.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

@Jannelle12: My Ideal addition would be Marc Gasol. He still is a capable defender and not scared to shoot the three. Also, he's also a solid passer. He'd be ideal in post-split action. Realistically, re-signing Alec Burks would be the move to make. Why? Because he already knows the system and would add additional scoring to a second unit that really needs it. 

@AndyKHLiu: Marc Gasol. Not only is he perfect for Steve Kerr, he'd be the best addition to the bench since David West. Great passer, screen-setter, defender and shooter that will play both on the closing and second unit. There's no better player, I'd argue, that would fit this team, regardless of money. (Well, Giannis (Antetokounmpo) but that's another story). 

@GSWReddit: Obviously Marc Gasol is a very popular pick among Warriors fans. He is probably the most ideal center Bob Myers could get for Kerr. A former Defensive Player of the Year who is an exceptional passer for a big, along with his ability to score around the rim and stretch the floor. A multi-faceted player like that would be perfect for this Warriors roster, especially at the center position where the Warriors are looking to upgrade. There are some concerns with him in regards to age and durability, but if he were to be available for the MLE, then he would be a great pickup. It remains to be seen how the Raptors will play things this offseason and they do retain his bird rights if they want to offer him something like a steep one-year deal to run it back.
If he’s unavailable, former-Warrior Justin Holiday might be an intriguing and more realistic candidate. He has had a very good season for the Pacers, shooting 42 percent from 3-point range on high volume and can offer some wing defense to a roster that badly needs it. 

[RELATED: One Warrior would be hurt most by no camps, second bubble]

My take (@grantliffmann): It's crazy when the whole panel agrees, but Marc Gasol truly would be an ideal addition. But another ideal addition would be his teammate Serge Ibaka. The reason most people do not include Ibaka's name in their wish list is because there is an assumption that he will be seeking a big-money deal (which he probably deserves). But if we are talking possibilities that could be realistic, we have to consider the idea that the financial ramifications of the pandemic might be greater than even some anticipate, which would make attaining Ibaka on a one-year deal not completely out of the question, though yet again, very unlikely.

Why Andrew Wiggins is Warriors' most hurt if no camp, second NBA bubble

Why Andrew Wiggins is Warriors' most hurt if no camp, second NBA bubble

Steph Curry would have nothing to gain from scrimmaging against the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks or Minnesota Timberwolves.

Neither would Draymond Green.

Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney -- who is said to be far along the road to recovery -- might benefit, strictly from the standpoint of conditioning.

As teammates for eight seasons, mostly of them highly successful, none of Curry, Green and Thompson needs a week or 10 days in a second NBA bubble to learn how to play together. They also know every line of every page in the playbook.

Andrew Wiggins, however, is an altogether different matter.

Unenthusiastic as the Warriors are about the possibility of a bubble designed specifically for the eight teams excluded from the original bubble in Orlando, Florida -- a concept that is diminishing by the day, according to a report Tuesday in The Athletic -- they surely know it could have been good for Wiggins.

It would give the coaching staff a few more hours on the court with their starting small forward.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Acquired in the trade that sent D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota, Wiggins landed in San Francisco on the evening of Feb. 7. He dressed for 12 games as a Warrior before the season was halted due to the coronavirus.

Wiggins joined Green in the lineup three times and Curry once. He has yet to play with Looney or Thompson. Wiggins barely knows them and wouldn’t get any better acquainted if somehow there was a momentum shift that resulted in a second bubble. Curry, Green and Thompson almost certainly would be exempt for the aforementioned reasons, as well as the possibility of injury.

Getting Wiggins on the floor with Curry, Green and Thompson would be assured only if the Warriors were to hold an internal camp, scrimmaging among themselves in San Francisco. Warriors coach Steve Kerr has been consistent in saying that is his preference.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, there is no knowing when everyone can gather at Chase Center. The City of San Francisco has been forced to push back some of the tentative timelines released more than a month ago.

[RELATED: Paschall discusses his good 'Welcome to the NBA' moment]

There is every reason to believe Wiggins would benefit from second-bubble court time with Marquese Chriss, Damion Lee, Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole and others. But most of Wiggins’ game minutes next season will come with the Curry-Green-Thompson core.

The team’s flowing offense requires both repetition and anticipation, otherwise it risks becoming a turnover machine. Wiggins will pick that up.

The defense is another matter. It’s more complex and requires one to synchronize with his teammates, particularly those with whom he’ll share the most court time.

Would a second bubble help Wiggins? Yes, but not as much as an internal camp.