It’s official. Word on the street that new owner, Joe Lacob, bought out Nellie in his contract for about $6 million. Nellie will happily fly back to Hawaii and live out the rest of his life in retirement. Assistant coach, Keith Smart, will take over his job. Clearly, new ownership wanted the Warriors to play a different type of basketball and this was the first step.
Warriors can finally have a real coach that will actually coach them. Granted Nellie is the winningest coach in the league, recently passing Lenny Wilkens, but his record for coaching the Warriors have been horrible, with an overall 55-109 record. I think his highlight of coaching the Warriors this time around, was when the Warriors demolished the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006-2007 playoffs. But with some of the moves the Warriors made during the off-season plus the maturity and experience Steph Curry got from the Fiba tournament, it is was important a system was put in place, where it will benefit the entire team and give them a chance to actually win and have a winning record.
Although a new coach is coming in, I shouldn’t get too excited. Smart was under Nellie for quite some time and may believe that Nellie’s system is the way to go. He may tweak a couple of things (defense?) but I highly doubt he’ll change a whole lot and play like the San Antonio Spurs or Jerry Sloan’s Utah Jazz. With a new owner however, this may be the only chance Smart gets and if he doesn’t perform, he’ll be out fast. Also with new owners, it will be interesting to see when and who he’ll trade in the upcoming season.
With that said, a new season is around the corner!
Update: Yahoo published a great article about Nellie’s departure. I’ve linked the link. Check it out! Go Warriors!!!