Don Nelson talks Monta Ellis, Billy Owens, etc.

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Don Nelson talks Monta Ellis, Billy Owens, etc.

OAKLAND -- Don Nelson is back in the Bay Area this week inadvance of his induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame on Sept. 7. Earlier thisweek, Nelson met with a group of writers over lunch, and later in the day hetaped an hour-long segment for Chronicle Live, which will air next Thursday the day before his induction.Nelson, 72, who had two stints coaching the Warriors, is theNBAs all-time winningest coach. Here are some snippets of what hesaid:On the Warriors trading Monta Ellis to the Buckslast season:Nelson: I really like what theyve done. As muchas I love Monta I thought he was just because of his size and not his ability,a 6-3 two guard its very hard to win with a small two guards in our league.When I first had him, I tried to get him to think more like a point guard ifhe could ever be a point guard.He did have the ability to pass. He does have that. Hesdoing more of that now. But you know, a player has to be willing to see thatand to do those things. His approach when he was younger was a like a lot ofguys. Hes not ready to do that. So he was going to be what he was. But nowhes more of an all-around player than Ive seen out of him.He is passing more and seeing players. Hes a good teammatenow. When he was young he was just he thought he was so dominant that hecould do all these things that we witnessed that he can do. He can get you 35(points) in a game and thats what he wanted to do. Now that hes maturing,hes a better basketball player.On the Mitch Richmond-for-Billy Owens trade:Nelson: I remember when I said, which is true, itwas the worst trade I ever made -- Mitch Richmond for Billy Owens. Ive saidit more than once. I hurt Billys feelings and I didnt know it. I should haveknown it but I didnt. He finally came to me one time and we sat down andtalked about that. I probably shouldnt have said that.On being a players coach and allowing his playersmore freedom than most coaches: Nelson: Its just the importance of every game isso much greater now than when I first broke in. So much pressure to win, win,win. Coaches want more control over the game, stay in game. Once in a while itdoesnt work out, you get blown out. I always tried to train my players to dothat on the floor train them in practice so I didnt have to do that in thegames.Ive over-coached in my career as well, though, especiallywhen I didnt have a good point guard. Then you have to do more of it if youdont have the leadership on your team. My style would be more like theinternational rules where the coach doesnt have as much control. You cantcall timeout every two mistakes. Its harder to do that stuff. I think thoseare good things for the game. Itsbit different game now. There are only a couple of guys who play like Ilike to play that are left in the game.On finally making it into the Hall ofFame:Nelson: I kind of always felt I was undeservingto be there. So when I kept getting voted down three or four times I justdidnt think Id make it. And I still feel unworthy, really, so somebody votedfor me, I guess.But there are so many guys more deserving than me. AlAttles. Why isnt he in? Guys like (Bill) Fitch and (Dick) Motta why arentthey in there? So that I made it doesnt seem quite right but I guess thereare a lot of things that arent quite right.

Warriors players, coaches pledge $75,000 to Oakland fire relief efforts

Warriors players, coaches pledge $75,000 to Oakland fire relief efforts

The players and coaches of the Golden State Warriors have pledged to donate $75,000 to the ongoing relief efforts surrounding the Oakland Fire, the team announced on Wednesday. 

The warehouse fire that began on the night of December 2 claimed a total of 36 lives.

The $75,000 from the players and coaches is in addition to the $50,000 that was previously pledged by the Golden State Warriors organization to the Oakland Fire Relief fund.

“As a team that calls the Bay Area our home, we are all devastated by this tragedy that took place right in our community,” said Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those that have lost their lives, and our sincere condolences go out to their loved ones.

"We invite anyone that would like to help those who have been affected by this tragedy to join us in supporting our neighbors that have lost so much.”

An Oakland Fire Relief PSA featuring the Warriors players can be found at warriors.com/OaklandFire.

Golden State Warriors media services
 

NBA Gameday: Warriors test offense against Clippers' top defense

NBA Gameday: Warriors test offense against Clippers' top defense

LOS ANGELES – In opening a five-game road trip Wednesday night, the Warriors are going right into an NBA war zone they know all too well.

They’re invading Staples Center to face the Los Angeles Clippers.

The teams, along with the San Antonio Spurs, are expected to battle for Western Conference supremacy. The Warriors (18-3) are 12 days removed from overtaking the Clippers (16-6) for sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division. Though LA started fast, winning 14 of 16, it has since lost four of six.

The game is Kevin Durant’s introduction to the agitation that tends to accompany Warriors-Clippers, and he’ll see plenty of LA defensive ace Luc Mbah a Moute.

The Warriors are reuniting with popular former teammate Marreese Speights, who after three seasons in the Bay Area signed with LA in July.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 4

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Stephen Curry vs. Chris Paul. Several matchups deserve attention, but it begins with the two fabulous point guards. Paul’s task is to slow Curry, and he occasionally does. Curry simply wants to make sure Paul doesn’t impose his enough to supervise the action. The winner of this matchup tends to dictate the winner of these games.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 9-1. Clippers: 6-4.

INJURY REPORT:
Warriors: No injuries listed.

Clippers: F Brice Johnson (lower back herniated disc) is listed as out.

ROSTER NOTE:
Warriors C Damian Jones is on assignment with D-League Santa Cruz.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have won six in a row and seven of the last eight, and are 24-12 over the last nine seasons against the Clippers.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
Tests for the best. The Warriors lead the NBA in scoring and overall offensive rating, while the Clippers are tops in overall defensive rating. Conventional wisdom is that good offense beats good defense. It’s certain that each team’s “1” is under the gun.

LA loves charity: No team in the NBA shoots more free throws than the Clippers. The Warriors won’t mind sending DeAndre Jordan to the charity stripe, maybe even intentionally, but they want to avoid fouls that give Jordan’s teammates easy money.

From the jump. While the Warriors are downplaying the significance of the game, the Clippers are not. So LA definitely will make an effort to make a statement in the opening minutes. Will they? And what happens if they don’t? The Warriors will be on alert.