Monte Poole

Adonal Foyle recalls brutal first talk with Don Nelson

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USATSI

Adonal Foyle recalls brutal first talk with Don Nelson

SAN FRANCISCO -- He is among the greatest basketball coaches ever to walk a sideline. Creative and abrasive, accomplished yet unfulfilled, all wrapped in a 6-foot-7 package of Svengali.

Some say Don Nelson, who served two stints coaching the Warriors, was brutally honest, others insist needlessly cruel. There is little dispute, though, that “Nellie” could be as subjective as the sun is hot.

If you were one of “his guys,” you could do little wrong.

If you weren’t, you knew it early and you heard it often -- as former Warriors center Adonal Foyle, who was on the roster for 10 seasons, discovered in 2006.

“Don Nelson told me the first day he showed up at the gym: ‘You suck. You’ll never play for me. You make too much money.’ That was it,“ Foyle recalled Tuesday on the Warriors Insider Podcast.

“And he was having a cigar when he did it.”

Foyle, who returned to the Warriors in 2014 to serves as a Community Ambassador, clearly enjoyed his time with the “We Believe” Warriors, despite and because of the presence of Nelson. Foyle quickly learned about the two sides of Nellie.

Nelson had favorites. There was, in his first stint coaching the Warriors, Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway, to name two. In his second stint, there was Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson.

Yet the list of those who could not seem to escape Nelson’s doghouse may have been longer, including the likes of Terry Teagle, Tyrone Hill, Sarunas Marciulionis and, later, Al Harrington, Ike Diogu, Marco Belinelli. Nelson’s most famous object of disgust was, of course, Chris Webber.

Foyle, who logged 1,824 minutes before Nelson’s arrival in 2006, played only 475 minutes in 2006-07.

“I knew I wasn’t going to play, because he made it clear,” Foyle recalled. “So I could be pissed off. I could be angry.

“I’m just going to be there. I’m just going to do my job the best way I could for that year. And I’m just going to learn. And I’m just going to help our where I can. I’ll help my teammates out. I’ll do the job that I’m paid to do.”

Foyle, the team’s all-time leader in blocked shots (1,140), scored a total of 107 points that season. His 50 blocks ranked third on the team. His ratio of blocks, one every 9.5 minutes, led the team.

The Warriors staged a furious rally to close the season, ending a 13-year postseason drought by gaining the No. 8 seed. They pulled off an epic upset, stunning top-seeded Dallas in the first round.

The Utah Jazz in the second round eliminated the Warriors in five games, the last played on May 15.

Ninety days later, Nelson and the Warriors bought out Foyle’s contract. He spent his final two seasons in Orlando and Memphis.

Instant Replay: Warriors manhandle Mavs, win fifth straight

Instant Replay: Warriors manhandle Mavs, win fifth straight

BOX SCORE

The Warriors don’t know exactly when Kevin Durant will return to the lineup, but they seem to have figured out how to excel without him.

And on Tuesday night, for the first time this season, they found a way to win without Andre Iguodala.

Behind stellar shooting and tight defense, the Warriors won their fifth consecutive game, running away from the Mavericks for a 112-87 victory at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Four Warriors scored in double figures, led by Klay Thompson’s 23 points. Ian Clark tossed in 18 points, Stephen Curry 17 and Pat McCaw added 10 as the Warriors defeated Dallas for the sixth consecutive time and the 13th of 14.

The Warriors (57-14) got a big boost from their bench, which outscored the Dallas reserves 49-36.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 points to lead Dallas (30-40), which took a blow to its playoff hopes. Seth Curry put in 10 points for the Mavericks.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Thompson’s shooting was superb, as was Draymond Green’s all-around game.

Thompson’s line: 23 points (9-of-15 from the field, 5-of-8 from beyond the arc), three rebounds, three assists and three steals. He played 32 minutes and finished plus-17 for the game.

It was Thompson’s seventh consecutive game with at least 20 points.

Green’s line: Seven point (2-of-6, 1-of-4 from deep, 2-of-2 from the line), eight assists, seven rebounds and stellar defense on Harrison Barnes (2 points), Dirk Nowitzki and anyone else who got in the way. Green played 28 minutes and was plus-21.

TURNING POINT:
After the Mavericks went up 37-32 on a jumper by Nowitzki with 9:37 left in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a searing 28-7 run to go up 60-44 on a Thompson 3-pointer with 55.4 seconds remaining in the half.

Clark, who scored 8 of the 28 points during the run, had 10 for the quarter.

The Warriors took a 62-50 lead into the half, and the Mavericks got no closer than 13 in the second half.

INJURY UPDATE:
Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, tibial bone bruise) and F Andre Iguodala (L hip strain) were listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Mavericks: No injuries listed. C A.J. Hammons and F Jarrod Uthoff were placed on the inactive list.

WHAT’S NEXT:
The Warriors return to action Friday night at Oracle Arena, where they play host to the Sacramento Kings. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.

 

NBA Gameday: Curry brotherly love takes a hiatus for 48 minutes

NBA Gameday: Curry brotherly love takes a hiatus for 48 minutes

The Warriors will be without Andre Iguodala when they conclude their two-game road trip Tuesday night in Dallas with brother-against-brother competition in a game with playoff implications.

While Stephen Curry and the Warriors are chasing the No. 1 overall seed, younger brother Seth Curry and the Mavericks are simply hoping to slip into the postseason.

The Warriors (56-14) have rebounded from a stretch during which they lost five of seven to won their last four games, including a 111-95 bashing of the Thunder Monday night in Oklahoma City.

Though the Mavericks (30-39) have made considerable progress after going 9-23 over the first two months, they remain 2.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Zaza Pachulia & Co. vs. Dirk Nowitzki: Though he has missed 26 games with injuries or other reasons associated with being 38 years old, Nowitzki remains among the game’s most dangerous shooters. The 7-footer is playing center, sort of a stretch-5, which means Pachulia will be among several defenders, including Draymond Green, David West and maybe Matt Barnes. The clear upside for the Warriors is that Nowitzki is a profoundly ineffective defender.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, tibial bone bruise) and F Andre Iguodala (L hip strain) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Mavericks: No injuries listed.

LAST 10

Warriors: 6-4. Mavericks: 6-4.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won the last five meetings, including the first two this season, and have prevailed in 12 of the last 13.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

WARRIORS ROTATIONS: Iguodala is among the NBA’s top sixth men. His absence creates a large vacuum, for he typically is the first player off the bench and the one who spends the most time with the starters, particularly in the fourth quarter of close games. This could mean more minutes for Shaun Livingston, who is slumping, as well as Barnes. It surely means a different look for the Warriors.

THE CURRYS: There will be moments when the two will square off, much as they did in their backyard while growing up. After stints with four other teams, Seth Curry appears to have found his NBA home. He has been crucial to the Mavs’ recovery this season; they’re 12-3 when he scores at least 18 points. This will not matter when he’s one-on-one with his big brother, who happens to be a two-time MVP. Brotherly love will take a 48-minute hiatus.

THE PACE GAME: The Warriors are a go-go team, the Mavs a go-slow bunch, ranking 29th in pace and dead last in made field goals. Dallas is the only team in the NBA averaging less than 100 points per game. The Mavs keep the turnovers low, but if the Warriors are able to own the glass (the Mavericks are last in rebounding), they should be able to punish Dallas in transition.