No Nellie in exhibition finale

Fresh news from today’s Warriors shootaround at Loyola Marymount University:

Don Nelson will not coach tonight’s exhibition finale. In order to avoid what happened in the same situation last year — having handed the reigns over to Larry Riley, Nelson jumped in at the end of a tight game and took control — Nelson will be sitting in the stands.

“I can’t do it,” Nelson said of sitting on the bench as a passive observer.

Riley will be in the stands with Nelson, while Keith Smart gets a chance to coach a limited squad: Matt Barnes is absent with the team’s OK, but he’ll be joined on the DNP list by Kelenna Azubuike, Andris Biedrins, Baron Davis, Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson.

“There’s no reason to risk it,” Nelson said. (Too bad for the Bulls that Scott Skiles didn’t get that memo.)

“I might play,” quipped Smart, who was still trying to figure out how to best deploy his troops as the bus headed back for the team hotel.

“I don’t know yet,” Smart said when asked whom he might start. “But we’ll definitely have five.”

— Geoff Lepper

Marcus Thompson