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.
OAKLAND -- Mess with one Warrior, you mess with the entire organization.
That’s the message the Warriors sent out Friday in the wake of a Twitter beef between center JaVale McGee and TNT analyst Shaquille ONeal that began late Thursday night and carried into the wee hours Friday morning.
Coach Steve Kerr fired back at O’Neal, as did Warriors forward Kevin Durant. The Warriors, as a franchise, contacted O’Neal’s bosses.
Kerr spent a portion of his post-practice news conference Friday afternoon defending McGee from O’Neal’s relentless ridicule on the video segment “Shaqtin’ A Fool.” Durant said O’Neal’s ongoing critiques are “childish,” adding that O’Neal was a great player with his own imperfections.
Prior to the comments by Durant and Kerr, though, it was confirmed by CSNBayArea.com that the Warriors contacted Turner Sports in hopes of getting TNT’s parent company to persuade O’Neal to curb the constant derision directed toward McGee because of its impact on his image and reputation.
The outreach was a direct response to a roughly two-minute segment Thursday night that was strictly limited to castigating McGee.
Upon getting wind of Durant’s comments, O’Neal turned to Twitter to tell Durant that McGee is a “bum” and to “mind yo business.”
OAKLAND -- The long-simmering acrimony between retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal and Warriors center JaVale McGee reached epic proportions late Thursday night and early Friday morning when the two engaged in a Twitter beef.
By Friday afternoon, Kevin Durant was stepping into the fray. He didn’t bother with Twitter, instead speaking his mind and firing verbal grenades at Shaq.
“JaVale works extremely hard,” Durant said after practice. “He has come in here and done so much for us as a player. He only wants to be respected, just like anybody else. And I understand that Shaq works for a company that wants him to do that type of stuff, and make fun of players. It’s cool and funny.
“But when you just keep doing it time and time and time again, for no reason, and then a guy actually disagrees with you? And you threaten him? I didn’t know cops could threaten civilians like that.”
O’Neal currently is a reserve police officer in Doral, Fla. He also has served in that capacity in several other cities.
The latest O’Neal-McGee spat began when O’Neal, now an analyst at TNT who frequently targets McGee for ridicule, presented a video Thursday night that mocked McGee. It was very personal.
McGee took offense and responded on Twitter, which led to the two men exchanging insults, with McGee accusing O’Neal of “cooning,” and O’Neal calling McGee “dumb” and threatening to “smack the s--t out” of McGee.
Though McGee was not available Friday, he was sharply defended by Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Durant.
“It’s definitely childish,” Durant said. “But that’s what they want from these stars and these retired players, is to feud with the guys that are playing now and make arguments and disagreements. If I was JaVale, I’d feel the same way. It’s childish.
“Shaq wants to make a joke about it, but if it was him in that position, he would feel the same way.
“Everybody can’t be Shaq. He’s trying to make his money and enjoy the game of basketball, and his perception of him is that he’s a ‘dumb’ player because he makes mistakes on the court. Shaq was a sh---y free-throw shooter. He missed dunks. He air-balled free throws. He couldn’t shoot outside the paint. He was bigger than everybody. He didn’t have any skill. But he was bigger and stronger than everybody.”
Durant then turned his head and seemed to speak directly to O’Neal.
“He was still a great player, but you had your flaws too as a player,” he said. “And you played on five of six teams, too. So it’s not like you’re this perfect center. You had your flaws too. Like I said, I didn’t know cops could go on Twitter and threaten civilians like that. I’m glad JaVale challenged him.”
Kerr, who has known O’Neal for more than 20 years, also came to McGee’s defense.
“I don’t blame him for being frustrated,” he said Kerr. “Shaq’s been picking on him for years and years and years. And JaVale, rightfully so, probably gets frustrated. It never ends. And it’s one thing to just have a little fun, but you can go a little bit over the top.
“It’s one of those things. If you think about JaVale’s career, when you’re in this position where someone is on national TV making fun of you night after night, it’s not the greatest thing for your reputation.
“I can tell you, I had a preconceived notion of JaVale before he got here that turned out to be totally false. And a lot of that was because of what goes on with Shaq’s ‘Shaqtin’ A Fool’ thing.”
Shaq responded to Durant Friday on Twitter, writing "@KDTrey5 mind yo business this ain't for you," and "@KDTrey5 I understand u sticking up for your teammate that's cool but your boy @JaValeMcGee34 is still a bum, he started it I'm a finish it."
@KDTrey5 mind yo business this ain't for you,— SHAQ (@SHAQ) February 24, 2017