Steve Kerr thinks former Warriors coach Don Nelson should receive more credit for being ‘ahead of his time’
In today’s NBA game, we think nothing of space-and-pace. Centers shooting three-pointers has become a regular thing, and positions are becoming more and more nominal rather than critical. However, back when Don Nelson tried to employ these strategies during his days as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, he was widely criticized.
Now, he looks pretty smart.
Current Warriors head coach Steve Kerr thinks Nelson deserves more credit for being ahead of his time:
“Nellie was ahead of his time,” Kerr said, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. “All the stuff you’re seeing teams do now – playing small and playing up-tempo – he was doing that 40 years ago in Milwaukee.”
Of course, many know Nelson for his time as coach of the “We Believe” Warriors back in 2007, but one thing that probably immediately sticks out in the minds of fans who have watched the game for some time was how he used Anthony Mason during his brief stint as head coach of the New York Knicks in the mid 1990s.
Mason, a bruising big man, was actually a very good ball-handler and passer, not to mention a versatile defender (does that sound like another current Warriors forward that we all know very well?). So, Nelson would frequently use Mason as the Knicks’ point forward, which sent opposing defenses for a loop.
“He didn’t really get a whole lot of credit for the revolution that’s going on now, but he was ahead of his time,” added Kerr.
Nelson, the winningest coach in NBA history, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.