Don Nelson to Resign as Golden State Warriors Head Coach

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Thanks for the memories, mon ami...

Steinmetz has the scoop:

Don Nelson will resign as coach of the Warriors, CSNBayArea.com has learned from two sources close to the situation.

The announcement is scheduled to take place on Monday.

Nelson, the NBA's all-time coaching leader in victories with 1,335 wins, will be replaced by longtime Warriors assistant coach Keith Smart, according to both sources. Nelson holds a career coaching record of 1,335-1,063 (.557).

Nelson, the all-time winningest coach in NBA history, will officially resign and accept a settlement on the $6 million owed him on his contract.

New Warriors owner Joe Lacob was determined to replace Nelson as coach, and Nelson, sources said, was glad to take his money and return to retirement in Hawaii.

Smart is working on a contract with the Warriors, and it’s still being negotiated whether he’ll be given a deal guaranteed beyond the 2010-11 season, a source said.

One more link for good measure, to the eloquent Adam Lauridsen, who as usual articulates my feelings on a subject better than I could...
For awhile, it was clear the fire was still there.  Don Nelson gave Warriors fans their greatest moment in a generation in his first season back.  What came after it shouldn’t detract from that accomplishment.  But as became increasingly clear from the middle of the 07-08 season onward, that fire for coaching was growing dimmer by the game.  With the win record achieved at the end of last season (at the cost of better draft odds for the team), the time was right for Nelson to step away from the game.  Thankfully, he took the opportunity.
Lacob and Guber likely recognized that some large, public change was needed to put their stamp on a new era in Warriors basketball.  Firing Rowell would have been a good place to start — and should still happen — but for the average fan, it wouldn’t signify much.  Letting Riley go falls under the same category, although his moves this summer have been a net positive for the team (in large part because he was able to undo earlier mistakes).  The easiest move to demonstrate that things will be different post-Cohan was to let Nelson go.
Thanks to deandres2k for breaking this on GSoM.

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