Marc Stein over at ESPN has reported his opinion of the Nelson issue and fleshed it out with supposed information from Warriors team sources. Those sources could be Tom fucking Tolbert, really, because all Steiny's saying is that the Warriors are cheap bastards who won't eat $12 million idiotically committed dollars and two inexplicably disposed of years of team development just to, you know, fix the absolute worst fucking thing wrong with this team. Don Nelson's drunken, vindictive, petty, senile dementia. It's all in the holiday edition of the Weekend Dime, so you've got all factors working on high effort overdrive to provide you the inside scoop. Also covered: Juwon Howard's start for the Bobcats and a chart of the most recent Michigan Fab Five starts in the NBA. Marc is not in the building. I don't think he does Christmas, but anyone in corporate Amerikuh does Xmas holiday, and he's fucking doing it:
Nelson has become such an accepted sideshow player killer in his years with young talent, such a player-blamer, attention-seeking blame CREATOR when he does name himself (defense is suddenly a priority while his rotations and youth destruction/purge are the real problems), that it's all an assumed blueprint for brilliance when he launches his annual whiny, poor-old-me, we're not very good tirades and starts clamoring for veterans like some 12 year old girl who wants a Malibu Barbie Dream House. Larry Brown just fucking effs the shit up. He doesn't screw around and he doesn't take a job where he'll have to spend years playing power games to do what he wants with the roster. Nelson, on the other hand, has invented a totally new game that happens in offices, not on the court, and no one ever talks about it. He hangs around to collect power and money and fuck up personal relationships. He doesn't work on a team. You know what he'll do with your team. The gimmick is already printed on postcards. It's mailed in the minute the ink dries on his contract: shitball wings running amok chucking threes any time with no rebounding or defense.
Notice, Nellie didn't mention rebounding in his coaching concessions last night. He only talked about defense and how he was starting the Lord of the Flies Survivor contest between Moncrief (a professional politician beloved by the team's core players and an elite NBA defender and shooter), and Keith Smart. Who has a clipboard. If Nellie had mentioned rebounds, someone might have asked him why he kept a three point shooting, average floor-switching pussy like Rob Kurz and cut a rebounding specialist who can maul other bigs, Richard Hendrix, without ever letting him play in a game. But no one did. The defensive coordinator bullshit was on and Rowell already avoided any aggressive pitch to Tom Thibodeau once, Jeff Van Gundy and Larry Brown twice, and it's all over and done with. We're going to pay Nellie that $15 million remaining between now and the Postscript instead of shell out $8 million per year for a real fucking defense-first, rebounding, no smallball bull shit coach with credentials. Nellie's wins are like Marco Belinelli's points now: fucking hollow, OK?
I'll bet Stein's source IS Tom Tolbert. Or Donnie Nelson. Both owe their careers almost exclusively to Don Nelson and/or Sarunas Marciulionis. Like CJ Watson, Matt Barnes, Kelenna Azubuike (a Moncrief guy, so I'll hold out hope he just needs a better coach to be what he once was again), Rob Kurz, or older versions of the crappy older undraftee or second round scrub who isn't 6'9" or taller, Tolbert is nothing without Don Nelson. Nellie has these little dweebs in his corner no matter what until they get a contract from someone else. And they always get the same contract: 1 year at the vet's minimum or 3 years at 50-60% of a team's MLE. They never invoke serious interest and they're never fully trusted until they prove themselves outside the Nellie system. Meanwhile, Nellie mounts ego wars against high profile players, young and old alike, until they either suck his junk or the situation explodes and trades are the only solution.
A new version of the Nellie player mindfuck- I think, someone correct me if I'm just forgetting the last time this happened- was the Baron Davis sit down and who knows WHAT was said between then and the opt out. Very clever. Another Nellie issue, moving around just enough to recharge memory banks and usher in a new buffer crop of impressionable journeyfans who need Nellie at the center of their worlds- they've lost all other hope, so they're his for life or until his contract is up- is freshly minted and in line for the hangover now with this Randolph mess. This is EXACTLY how the Chris Webber fiasco started. Webber's jersey is about to be retired by the Sacramento Kings. No word yet on the Gugliotta Warriors jersey retirement ceremonies, but check your fan programs for Spring 2010. But there's no way Nellie escapes this time if the noise keeps coming. He's established his M.O. and it's retarded. The player wins every time by default now.
This lets even the crappy players like Ike Diogu off the hook and ushers in a revised waiting period on guys like Hendrix and O'Bryant, guys who actually have NBA skillz and, in Hendrix's case, intensity and drive- those guys tend to SUCCEED. And of course, Chris Webber is vindicated. O'Bryant and Nellie supposedly had some screaming matches in practices. O'Bryant never gave in. Nellie shipped him. O'Bryant was blamed. Well, O'Bryant wins even if he still hasn't done shit and can't score at will against terrible wing defenders over a two week stint after whining like a little baby to European media. Still, fuck O'Bryant. We shoulda picked someone else if we had a fucking plan. We didn't. Eff us. But give me Rudy Fernandez or Wilson Chandler over Marco Belinelli every fucking day of the week and twice on domenica.
At any rate, Marc Stein is probably half right about all of this. The Warriors are complete hack pussies who hate to lose money just because they fucked up again. They did buy out Montgomery's two years, though, so I'm not sure who the fuck these reporters are talking to to get their one line explications of the intricacies of Warriorsville right now. It's more complicated than just "they don't eat money." They do when there's simply no other choice. But what they tend to do is wait too long, until they have a new plan for short term hype sans longterm payoff to deflect ticket sales swoons as much as possible. That's how you know Robert Rowell is the guy making the big decisions- they're all bullshit ticket sales and promotional PR moves, period. Rowell doesn't know jack shit about building or pitching a winning basketball team. Even the Mullin hire was a fucking gimmick, and those early contracts and gradual spoon feed since prove what's going on with that. Mullin is a famous fan favorite, but he's a chimp when it comes to business. Rowell is .0001% above him on the evolutionary scale. Those little differences are huge in primatology. I think. I'm no scientist.
So they might fire Nellie but chances are good they're actually wanting him to slink away in the shame of retirement. They want payback for how he effed up their ownership inauguration by going batshit crazy on a franchise big just because his ownership stake was shit after Cohan sued everyone. Or something, maybe he just hated Cohan's wife. The world may never know. But they won't allow a "leave of absence" because the precedent was already set in Dallas. Let him walk for a bit and you guarantee arbitration later. Once you condone it, he'll stick to his play and he's a better poker player than you, his lawyers are probably a little better that yours, and they're definitely more prepared for this kind of fight. They've done it before. At every stop in fact. They've got form files for Nellie's employer litigation. Trust me.
No, the Warriors need Nellie to go down in total flames. They've got to take the upper hand in this 15 year autopsy. They've already shown the league that they're here to make cash and opt for expediency and hollow cost cuts and sales gimmicks over substantive team building every step of the way. Their stake is personal, petty, and irrelevant to most of the league. It's a business and so, when Nellie and the All American Rejects made a classic Sportworld run in 2007, the marketing division of the NBA rode the underdog run and gun entertainment mantra all the way to Utah and legitimate basketball. But the love affair was all business, no league investment. Portland and their young core of legit bigs and a star guard with big game stuff? The league is all about it. Shit wings and a legacy of gimmick and suck? They don't care, there's no big longterm return there. You use the Warriors for short term return only and you don't expect too much. Ever.
The truth is, you can make as much money- more- in a big market with a monkeyshit team as long as you are OK at math and semi-casual fan exploitation, than you can in a tiny market with a serious playoff team. It's been proven, time and again. You can be sure the smart NBA marketing division knew exactly what they were getting and exactly what to do with it. The on air national broadcast folks get it. The talking points are COMPLETELY different now. Van Gundy and Jackson just say the Warriors suck. Even they used to have to say something about entertainment and running. Nellie the genius, whatever. No more. Not one fucking NBA mind of quality gives two shits about Nellie's career of money-grubbing and ego clashing. Not one. Brown has a championship and a rapid fire house-cleaning going down in Charlotte that we might be the "This battle station is fully operational" guinea pig for tonight. Nelson has an arbitrators dossier file. It's a sinking ship and the Warriors are ASSUMED to be along for the ride because of money! That says it ALL, right there. That's how you know. The league in general does this bullshit, but the Warriors are a very special case.
The Warriors have a unique brand of Suck Cycle. I don't think they recover from this round with Nelson unless they get rid of him, right now, and reboot. That includes Richard Hendrix, in my opinion. You have to choose players over coach in this instance and you have to make a clear indication to the league's agents of ALL young talent, including role players coming off of rookie deals, that this is a good option for them. Because the street baller D-Leaguers only get you so far and the free agents you can attract are obviously second class: the Warriors had the wherewithal, supposedly, to offer more than anyone else to premier NAMES like Elton Brand and Gilbert Arenas. They ended up with Corey Maggette.
No, the brand is shot. Rowell is an atrocity and no one wants to go where the owner doesn't fucking care. They at least don't want constant Ray Ridder press release hogwash and defense of team desire to win something of counsequence when everyone already knows ALL teams are businesses but, still, some make shit happen and some just don't. The Warriors not only "just don't," they actively work against success seemingly every fucking year. Revisit my earlier "Richard Hendrix : Pearl Harbor" rant for a run down of Warriors draft picks since Cohan sued for team control. That's how you build a legacy of suck.
Paper Bags on head, fans, or don't attend games at all.
The team has only one message for you and your kids:
It's a Great Fucking Time Out, Losers.