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Nellie Hypes Up the 2k7-2k8 Season

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Sraight up- we're no stranger to Nellie coverage here at GSoM:

No, really I wasn't kidding. For Warriors Nation listening to Nellie is like listening to the gospel- except it's a whole lot more entertaining. After a decade over mostly bland and inept coaches, it's been a godsend to get the always quotable character that is Coach Don Nelson. With Nellie running game from the sidelines Dub Nation is straight steady mobbin [Damon Agnos].

Don't mess with Nellie...
and don't even think about messing with Lucky around these parts.
[Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY]

So it's only fitting that we highlight Nellie's recent interviews hosted on the world wide. Use your crazy leapers to make the jump to check out a quartet of interviews featuring our man Tim Kawakami's analysis.

GSoM friend Tim Kawakami dropped a post yesterday Don Nelson on loving Belinelli, figuring out Ellis and Mark Cuban's TV boogey on his king of all sports blog Talking Points. Here's just a few of the many highlights with Tim's thoughts mixed in:

* Nelson basically put rookie Marco Belinelli into the starting line-up, replacing the traded Jason Richardson.

Nelson mentioned Kelenna Azubuike and Stephen Jackson (better used as the small forward), but it's clear that his heart, for now, is with the long-ball shooting, gutsy Italian rookie.

"I'm assuming Belinelli's really ready to go," Nelson said. "The guy's got stardom written all over him."

I asked Nelson to compare Belinelli's game to any current or former NBA player, and Nelson said there are no real comparisons-Belinelli's that special, reads screens that well, is that savvy, can play that aggressively.

(I'm thinking an extra-athletic Jeff Hornacek or a weirder Reggie Miller.)

Nelson said that he and his staff already have offensive sets designed for Belinelli's strengths-I'm assuming that means tricky screens set 28 feet from the hoop.

Now this could be typical Nellie September exaggeration (remember, he loved Dajuan Wagner last training camp), but I don't think he'd be drawing up sets for somebody he didn't genuinely love.

Since the day he was drafted we've heard nothing but praise for Marco... Marco... POLO! from Nellie and company. From many coaches' and experts' descriptions and his eye-opening Vegas Summer League performances he looks to be Ray Allen or Peja Stojakovic (in his prime) in the making. Maybe it's unfair to have that high of expectations for a rookie and I'd be pleasantly surprised if he was good for more than 12 ppg his rookie season with some decent shooting percentages, but Belinelli has sure mustered up the hype and piqued the interests of much of the hoops world. In belli's nelli we trust- ooops, I mean in Nellie's belly we trust.

* For now, Nelson's talking up Austin Croshere at power forward. It's probably just to stick an elbow into Al Harrington, but Nelson said that he needs rebounding at that spot and that Croshere has a track record in that area and Harrington does not.

Oh boy. I liken this one to Nellie's bold proclamations that Mike Dunleavy was set to blow up the spot as a point power forward during last year's training camp-- Nellie's just pulling our leg. I boldly predict that Croshere plays only slightly more this season than Adonal Foyle did last year- and the "We want Croshere!" chants don't exactly have the same ring as the "We want Foyle!" chants.


In the Sacramento Bee yesterday Scott Howard-Cooper dropped a transcript of his Q&A with Nellie. On a side note, isn't it funny how much coverage the Sacramento Bee gives to the Warriors? I guess the Sacrapmento Kings are really just that dull to cover right now. Let's make their lives easier and hook them up with the $10 million trade exception for Ron Artest. (Plus Ron-Ron and THud are good for at least a couple 5 mic albums! Welll, by the standards of today's The Source.) Anyhow if Nellie's being straight with the media there's some real good news for Warriors fans. Nellie's here for not one, but two more years of fun:

Q: Do you feel you have two seasons left in you, emotionally and physically? Taking the money aside, could you see yourself coaching for two more seasons?

A: Oh, yeah. I do.

Q: So it sounds as though everyone will have to go through this contractual thing again next summer.

A: No, there will be no negotiations. They exercise (the option), or they don't. I hate negotiations. It's not a fun thing for anybody to go through. It's a cut-and-dry deal.

Q: If the Warriors have another good season and they pick up the option, is there a chance you will hold out again?

A: No. My value, for me when I evaluate myself, is making the salary that I'm making right now. I think I'm a $5 million coach. I have been for 10 years. Whatever you want to look at, I should be in the top 10 of coaches. That's kind of where I see myself. That's what they did. They put me up there. I think I'm No. 8 or something like that. That's fine. I don't have to be No. 1 or 2 or 5. But I have to be compensated what I consider a fair value for my skills. And they did that.

Throw up two fingaz for two more years of this hyphy installment of Nellieball!


And of course the first The Don Nelson Show of the new season with The Razor & Mr. T on KNBR 680 is a must listen. Definitely check out the AP's Don Nelson ready to forget contract trouble, rebuild Warriors piece as well.


Flip through Nellie's thoughts from the 2 articles and the The Don Nelson show podcast. What's fact (Nellie's genius hoops insights) and fiction (Nellie throwing up some smokescreens)?

Special thanks to loyal GSoM community members Myron, OptionZero, and nautica for helping assemble the interview links.

Also for some good ol' Golden State of Design fun don't sleep on Tony.psd's Drawing Don Nelson.

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