Does Post-Nellie Era Begin Now or Next Year?

New co-owner Joe Lacob just did an interview on KNBR with Ralph and Tom. One of the interesting tidbits in it was about what he’s going to do with the coach. But he has a bit of a a dilemma.
Lacob said what everybody else already knows: the Nellie era is done. And Lacob said in the interview that he wants a young coach in the new era (he listed Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks as an example). But the question he has to answer is when will the era end? Now? Or after this coming season?

What makes the decision difficult is that he can’t make the move until he becomes owner of the team, which he said he’s hoping to be officially by late  September. (Though, he said outgoing owner Chris Cohan has obliged him since the sale agreement. If he wanted Nelson gone, couldn’t he just tell Cohan to fire Nellie and hire the guy he wanted?) If that is when he gets ownership, that’s about the start of camp and a month before the season starts.

Is that too late to make a coaching change?

Lacob sounded like he wanted to make a run at the playoffs this year. A couple of players told me they would rather Nellie stay on this last year unless the Warriors can get a really good replacement. Is late September too late to get the coach of the future? Perhaps the only way a new coach is feasible at that point of the offseason is if the replacement is already identified and ready to go right away. If that coach is not already on a staff, he could even get started before the sale is official, at least with rounding up the staff he wants. That’s risky though.

If Lacob is not willing to do any under-the-table dealing, that means he would have to START the search in late September. That would be crazy.

On the flip side, why wait a year to do what you know has to be done? With the the young players in place, why not get to it right away?

Certainly, getting point guard Stephen Curry the coach he’s going to grow under in tow now is better than doing it later. Ditto to a lesser extent for the likes of Reggie Williams, Ekpe Udoh, and, yes, Jeremy Lin.

So which is the lesser of the two evils: potentially hurting the coming season by making a change too late? or postponing the start of the new era?

Marcus Thompson

  • petaluman

    Between Nelson’s 2 stints here, we had a succession of coaches, none who lasted more than 2 seasons. That is what Lacob is trying to avoid. Spin doctoring aside, I thought he was pretty clear when asked about Nelson’s situation.

    If the “right guy” comes along, it’s time to make a move. However, it’s better for the team if DN stays for his final season than to have Coach “insert name here” replace him and stick for only 1-2 seasons.

  • http://www.jerseys-factory.com lisa

    jerseys-factory.com: Nellie needs to go, and hope all will be fine

  • Son of Ahmed

    I won’t retread the arguments I’ve already made on this thread, but I stand by them. Which of them regarding Nelson do you disagree with?

    I understand the argument that is being made here by you and others about being patient and the importance of finding the right front office people rather than just plunging in. Yes, the timeline is short, but the owners can start assembling their team behind the scenes right now. They don’t have to wait until late September. A job search for a normal position usually takes a full month, so I get it that finding a good person for a really important role such as gm and coach takes longer. But if these guys ponied up $450 million to buy the team, I would think they have been also working on a plan for team leadership for some time. I know one can only do so much with the time that is given. We’ll see, I guess.

    Anyway, if they want a bright young coach (Lacob’s words) and a GM, they can recruit one now and hire him later. It would be a little tricky, but I think it could be done if they really have the desire to make necessary changes. Lacob said he is not patient and he wants to win. We’ll see just how patient he is soon.

    I see the “logic” behind being patient and cautious, but I don’t agree with it in this case because I think that Lacob has to move boldly to avoid being linked with the dysfunctional past of this organization. President Lincoln once said of the ineffective George McClellan, “If General McClellan isn’t going to use his army, I’d like to borrow it.” Lacob should have the same sense of urgency regarding the team he is taking over.

  • The Sear

    I want Nelson gone because we need to get a good teacher to work with this young team and thats not Nelson. These young players need to be taught how to play NBA defense and winning NBA basketball and thats not what Nelson does. His gimmick coaching has been a disaster to this franchise.

    Another year of teaching bad habits is not what the Warriors need. Nelson is a has been that should have been put out to pasture years ago. His style of coaching will only hurt the players at this point.

  • The Sear

    Feltbot what are you going to do when the love of your life Nelly goes back to Maui for good(can’t happen soon enough)?

    You love to hook yourself up with a guy who has never won anything in 30 years of coaching. Feltbot your a loser just like Nelly. You two deserve
    each other.

  • The Sear

    Meir34 your as bad as Feltbot. In love with a coach who in 30 years of coaching hasn’t won jack. His gimmick coaching has been proven over and over again, that it cannot win in the NBA. So lets just stick with a coach who’s system has proven over and over again, that it can’t win anything significant.

    On top of that lets make sure that our young players have zero idea how to play defense. With fans like Feltbot and Meir, our franchise would be locked in mediocrity for eternity.

    You two have zero clue what it takes to put together a consistently winning organization. You two need to be sent away with your best buddy Bobbie Rowell.

    I am so sick of you Rowell, Nelson, Riley apologists.

  • petaluman

    Here’s a more recent article by MT on this issue: http://www.insidebayarea.com/warriors/ci_15655373

    Note that Lacob & Guber are still putting together the ownership group. You can bet that’s a much higher priority to them than who coaches the team next year.

  • sartre

    I took fairly clear messages from the Lacob interviews. His preference is for Nellie to go (referring to him as essentially a lame duck coach given his final year status)and to hire a young coach to grow along with the roster. He acknowledged that hiring the right new coach and possibly GM might be difficult given the timing of the ownership change. He also indicated that they will not throw money around willy nilly by stating that the new owners would not consider going into luxury tax (though he acknowledged this was a characteristic associated with playoff teams). All this suggests they’ll keep Nellie (to not burden them with extra millions to spend after over-spending to trump Ellis’ bid) unless they’re able to find the absolutely right person within the narrow window of time before the season starts. I’m guessing Nellie is likely safe because of the constraints the new owners face, and that Riley is even safer (Lacob praised his knowledge and experience and supported the Lee move which was a gutsy call on Riley’s part).

  • A’s in 2010

    Good post, Sartre. I’ll add that after seeing any Peter Guber interview its safe to assume Bobby Rowell is completely expendable. I think it’s likely he’ll be gone first. And honestly, that move would be celebrated by all fans and Lacob being a longtime fan himself knows this.

  • sartre

    You’re right A’s In 2010 – getting rid of Rowell is an all round winning move. If dubs fans had their way he would suffer Mussolini’s fate.

  • dawan

    I believe at one time some wise people in the Warriors organization considered bringing in Rick Barry as head coach. I think that would be a good idea under the new ownership, providing Rick would be interested. I would like to see Nellie stay around as an off-the-court consultant. His contributions have certainly been made and considering his health, he should enjoy the game from a different perspective. I have nothing against Keith either taking over the reigns or staying where he is at. However, a Warrior legend at the helm under new ownership will not only provide fresh inspiration, but will also open up many more marketing and promotional avenues. Some may have concerns about contermporary coaching experience, but when a man has been around the game as long as Rick, I don’t see that as a problem.

  • Brytex

    Son of A @102:

    ” I think that Lacob has to move boldly to avoid being linked with the dysfunctional past of this organization”

    Why in the world would he care one bit if anyone links hime to the past? Lacob isn’t trying to win any popularity contests here. If he keeps Nelson another year it’s gonna be cuz it’s the right decision. You think fans are gonna boycott because now Lacob is “linked” to Cohan somehow? Fine. Those folks can stay home. Oracle will be packed.

  • Derek

    TRade Monta for Chris Paul. Add Jamison and the W’s are serious players in the league

    C. Paul/Lin/Pargo PG
    S. Curry/R Williams/C. Bell SG
    A. Jamison/Lame from Miami SF
    D. Lee/A. Tolliver/B.Wright(when healthy) PF
    A. Bierdrens/Gadzucks/C. Hunter C

  • itzSteve

    I think it’s time for Keith Smart to take over the team. Nellie has been grooming him for quite awhile now. He can obviously handle a younger roster, as proven by his work with the kids in the summer league. Nellie has already put him in charge of the defense in past years. The next hire is Rick Berry as an assistant, so he can teach AB how to shoot free throws!!!

  • Son of Ahmed


    Because you referenced Veruca Salt in your last response to me over at Adam’s blog, I’m gonna cut you some slack. (Great villainous character from a great movie.)

    Anyway, the past is not just some metaphor. The dysfunction of the past 16 years is linked to people–the people who are running the show right now. You pushing for the status quo? Really?

    But it’s not just about the past. It’s about defense, rotations, small ball, and all the other things already mentioned in this thread that have held our boys back.

  • Brytex


    Your mercy is always appreciated.

    “The dysfunction of the past 16 years is linked to people–the people who are running the show right now.”

    Agreed on that. I don’t agree on this:

    “Lacob has to move boldly to avoid being linked with the dysfunctional past of this organization”

    He needs to move boldly, yes. But not simply to dissasociate himself from past management. I don’t think he even cares about that at all. He needs to move boldly in order to PUT TOGETHER THE BEST TEAM POSSIBLE.
    And that could include keeping Nellie. Which would make a lot of folks unhappy. So what! I’m glad our new owner isn’t trying to be Mr. Popular.

    No matter what decisions he makes, the only way Lacob can truely distance himself from the past is by getting to the playoffs. And the Warriors just might do it again this year…with Nellie as the coach.

  • Deftoned40oz

    i think we should do whatever Warrior Dragon says we should…

  • Steve

    In a slight change of topic, check out this video of the “fastest” guard in the NBA.


  • Cranky Teacher

    Anthony Tolliver picked the Wolves over Warriors. Weird choice.

  • A’s in 2010

    Minny offered more. W’s only have $2.225M left on the mid-level.

  • ArmChair GM

    Carmelo has refused to sign a MAX extension with Denver. He clearly wants out.
    Trade Monta for Carmelo and play D Wright or Williams at the two. D Wright played thetwo in Miami when D Wade was injured.

    D Wright
    D Lee

  • Steve

    The guy you gotta trade, after reading this, is Biedrins. All this guy wants to do is retire before he hits 30 and then party for the duration. I’ve often questioned his mental and physical toughness and this interview just confirms my beliefs. Does the name Joe Barely Cares (Joe Barry Carroll) ring a bell? Biedrins might as well be his twin brother.


  • Fadein2Bolivian

    Agreed. Sounds like he couldn’t care less that he’ll be playing with 2 new starters plus Curry.

    Nellie was right all along for wanting to trade him. Too bad it didn’t happen.

    If he had said all of that 3 months ago, it still would have been wrong, but it would be understandable. Saying it now is unforgivable. Ship his ass out.

  • A’s in 2010

    I have ZERO confidence in Biedrins and I never understood the teams stance with him. I said before the summer he’s isn’t any more dependable right now than a 20 yr old Randolph or a fragile BWright. We have no bench now and our season basically comes down to whether Biedrins can get back to being a double-double guy with 60% fts. Why would you put all your chips in with that hand?

  • robert rowell

    on this thread: one guy (#111) who thinks the W’s can trade monta straight up for cp3, another (#118) who thinks they can get melo for monta.

    smoke crack much?

    the new owners must fire the entire staff and FO. you don’t sink to this depth of bball oblivion because you’re “just missing a piece or two.” your whole organization sucks. whether lacob has the smarts or balls to do so is something else. but i’ll be damned if i pay dollar one for tix for another year of ~30 wins.

    at least we won’t be LAST: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=SummerForecast10-WestStandings

  • jsl

    MT: Time for a new thread — and here’s a timely idea.

    We’re in the August doldrums now, sure, but there’s been increasing scuttlebutt about Lacob and his team being pretty cash poor. It’s mostly rumors, of course, but we’re hearing some pretty strange stuff. To wit:

    1. Lacob actually thinking about letting Nelson coach the last year — because he can’t afford to eat the $6MM K and hire someone new. (Very scary thought!)

    2. Lacob saying on the Papa interview that he won’t pay lux tax (tho admitting virtually al winners do).

    3. No news re Lacob actually selling his Celts piece.

    4. No news re the speed — or lack thereof — of the W’s sale.

    5. Increasing rumors that Lacob-Guber are NOT getting takers in their quest for investors.

    6. Rumors that people are laughing at Lacob-Guber for heavily over-paying for the W’s.

    7. Rumors that the W’s sale is very highly leveraged — and COULD fall apart at the seams if investors don’t fall into place.

    Now, concededly, the last three are simply board musings — thus far. But the fact that they’re being raised at all suggests there might be fire where there’s smoke.

    Today’s piece on David Lee — while a nice puff about a good guy — is really nothing that new (except, maybe, the rich kid part). A fun read, but little of real substance.

    This team now is inordinately “thin” at every position — especially the three and the five. While Lin is a fun concept, Pargo’s just an old has been/never was — and there’s nothing new on the horizon to replace the three pieces we lost in the Lee deal. Assistant coaches seem to leave every week — and only Smart (Mini-Nelson) and Silas (no place to go) are left right now, even tho we have a coach who tuned out three years ago, at least. We’re in a shambles — even with Curry and Lee (and Monta and Goose — and lotsa funny talk from Goose, tho it seems directed pretty much at Nelson). You can’t play this game with 2-3-4 guys.

    How ’bout a Lacob interview — and maybe asking some tough Qs about the issues raised above. Mainly, do these guys really bring the goods? Or are we consigned to more — if slicker — Cohan-style crap. Time for some substance; enough with the hype.

    Certainly a blog piece, if not an actual story. How ’bout it Marcus?

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  • Jeremy

    I don’t believe for a second the owners have money issues that will affect their ability to make personnel moves. They just approved the David Lee deal. Those “rumors” are Kawakami speculations is all.

    I think Nelson stays because there are no more no brainers to replace him once Byron Scott and Avery Johnson were snatched up. I can see him fired midseason though if the team doesn’t perform and promote Smart to interim.

    I’ve been saying all off season Beidrins needs to be moved. He can’t stay healthy, he can’t hit a shot outside 5 feet, can’t hit a free throw, can’t create a shot for himself, and has a gigantic contract. It was a horrid mistake by Riley not forcing the Knicks to take Beidrins instead of Turiaf and Azubuike if they were getting Randolph. Now the Warriors have no assets to pair with Andris to entice a team to take him, outside of Curry anyways.

    Why are the Warriors not signing Chris Hunter? Why is no one signing Chris Hunter?

  • jsl

    Jeremy: Total faith in the new owners’ deep pockets? Yet no evidence to support the belief? And no attempt to counter the opposite signals (e.g. Lacob says “no” on going over the lux tax — when ALL winners do; reports that investors are laughing at Lacob for overpaying, etc.)? Well, from your lips to God’s ear.

    And, no options to Nelson? Really? Well, how’s about Shaw, Romar, Elie for starters. Maybe Izzo or Spoelstra (if Riley wants to coach the Heat). How about almost any Big East coach? There’re a ton of candidates not named Scott or Johnson. Really. No need to waste another year on the Fat Man.

    And trade Goose? Now? For what? He’s got no value until he proves himself again; plus, he’s our only five besides Gadz. Our best hope is he gets back to the form he showed two years ago — before Nelson just destroyed him. And if we get rid of Nelson now, that’s the most likely result — plus the fact that Monta’ll play better and Lee won’t be slotted back into the five because of SNSB.

    As for Hunter, you answered your own Q: the W’s aren’t re-signing Hunter for the same reason that no one else is. He’s just not that good. But, when fives start going down like last year, he’ll find a team as a backup again.

  • Jeremy

    Why would Lacob say immediately he plans on going into the luxury tax? What reports are these of investors laughing at how much they paid for the Warriors… I’ve seen none. If they hang onto the team from 10+ years, they make boatloads of money no question.

    Lorenzo Romar? Big East coaches? Izzo? Please name me the last successful college to pros coach. Larry Brown maybe? It doesn’t work. Spoelstra is leaving Miami to come here? You don’t even believe that. Maybe if Riley fires him, but that’s not happening before this season. Now you’re back to Mark Jackson, Mario Elie, and Brian Shaw and a week or so to interview them and make a decision. Bad idea.

    Trade Goose for anything. He should have been forced into any trade involving Randolph and the Knicks were the perfect team for him to go to. Considerable cap space, wanted Randolph very badly, needed a C, and the D’Antoni offense is perfect for him since he doesn’t have to create his own shot just run the floor. Otherwise trade him for two gatorades and 4 new towels. But most likely he will stick around showing signs of his former promise mixed with missing significant time to injury while fouling at an alarming rate.

    Hunter is not excellent, but he’s not bad either. He’s better than both Gadzuric and Beidrins right now. He can be signed for the league minimum too.

  • jsl

    Jeremy: Tone it down, guy. You’re just making no sense.

    Your problem is that you haven’t been paying much attention to what’s out there. You’ve missed all the concerns about Lacob’s financing issues. (Try Adam’s blog, perhaps.) You don’t get it that Lacob still hasn’t even sold his Celt’s piece.

    Apparently you are able to dispense with real coaching guys like Romar and Izzo without comment — or, obviously, any thought. Shaw, Elie (and even Jackson, who I don’t much like — but who’s MUCH better than the Fat Man) have surely been contacted directly or indirectly. (Note: Pritchard’s even turned down a job, surely waiting to see how things work out with Lacob.) BTW, Spoelstra’s Dad works with — and is very close to — Guber (if you know who that is). If he could keep his defensive prowess and work an uptempo game, he’d be a natural here. Guys will WANT to work with Curry. Bet on it.

    And “trade Goose for anything”? You’ve been a fan of Rowell-Riley too long. That’s THEIR practice.

    And, of course, your masterpiece thot: Hunter better than both Goose and Gadz. Must feel lonely to be the only guy in the world to think that. But, as I said before, froth without ANY supporting evidence or analysis (just try comparing their stats) is just — well — froth.

    Even the silliest among us have seen the destruction Nelson’s wrought over the past three years. Read Jenkins’ lead column in the Chron sports today if you’re still confused.

    Pay attention, guy. It’s the key.

  • Jeremy

    So no actual evidence that they are cash poor? Just rumors that they are cash poor which guys like you and Kawakami love to run with, again without any actual evidence.

    College to pros coaches don’t work. Not because they are bad coaches, but because it’s a different game in the NBA. Egos, guaranteed contracts, GMs, etc.. very different world in the NBA. It is a tried and true way to fail.

    You’ve misunderstood my point though (failure to pay attention maybe?), it’s not that I want Nelson to stay, it’s that I think it’s faulty logic to rush in and fire him immediately without the ability to take enough time to find the best candidate to replace him. Let Nelson seal his own fate with poor performance and make Smart the interim if he does. If not, then we get to see the Warriors win, his contract expires, they have plenty of time to make a decision next offseason.

    Rowell is the one who should be fired the day the sale is final. His mistakes with personnel are unforgivable… there really is no coming back from the debacles of Mullin, Baron, Jackson, and Maggette/Brand/Arenas.

    Agreed that Rowell far too often traded talent for nothing, but he also signed the Warriors into many horrific contracts which Beidrins has no joined the club. $9M a year for 4 seasons to ride the bench for foul trouble or injury, hooray. Please keep this guy around instead of trying to create cap room for the new owners, and hopefully new FO, to use to surround Curry with players who can actually stay on the floor.

    If you need statistical evidence as to why Hunter is already better than Beidrins you didnt watch the Warriors last season. Beidrins has gotten so much worse over the course of the past 3 seasons it’s almost unbelievable, and regardless he can’t stay on the floor because he’s either hurt or in foul trouble. Hunter can be signed as insurance for his inevitable injury, already knows the offense, has chemistry with Curry, and has a similar PER. And he can hit jump shots and free throws.

  • jsl

    Jeremy: If you can’t tell — after the last three years — that Nelson’s pure poison, then there’s little hope for your vision. (Try reading Jenkins yesterday about the perils of putting this team back in Nelson’s hands — regardless of the cost of dumping his fat, besotted butt.) And if you can’t see that Hunter’s worse than Goose — and maybe no one told you about (1) Goose’s groin problem last year or (2) that he absolutely can’t stand playing for the Fat Man — then there’s little hope for you at all.

    P.S. What other evidence re Lacob’s lack of deep pockets do you require? The absolute statement re no lux tax didn’t make you go “Hmmmm”? The fact that Lacob hasn’t been able to unload his Celt’s stock means nothing? The obvious point that no other identifiable investors have come on board — and you don’t really think Lacob and Guber have half a billion between them, do you — doesn’t give you pause? And all the unanswered chatter means nothing? Time to claim “ostrich” status, J.

    Oh to be such a willful Pollyanna.

  • Jeremy

    That’s the problem with Beidrins, it’s always something. It’s the groin, or rib, or the next injury. he can’t stay healthy. When he is on the floor he’s off balance on defense, fouls constantly, and provides virtually nothing on offense outside of 5 feet. Hunter is a much smarter player and while he’s less of a shotblocking threat than Beidrins he does just about everything else better. Better shooter, better passer, better on the ball defender.

    The team hasn’t even been sold yet and you’re already worried that his Celtics stock isn’t sold. I’m not going to sit and worry about their ability to sign FAs when they have no ability to sign anyone for 11 months. Plenty of time to sell his stock in the Celtics, plenty of time to find additional investors. Point is you’re freaking out about rumors they may not have money, when it is not an issue and they’ve already signed off on adding a big contract. Finding investors will not be a problem… the NBA is a money machine.

    Why would the new owners come out and say they’re going into the luxury tax? They don’t need to go into the luxury tax right now and he even said they’d approach that issue when it comes but they have no plans to right now. That to me sounds like someone who isn’t going to be signing Mike Dunleavy to a huge extension but is willing to pay the tax to keep a team together that actually wins unlike the previous ownership.

    I know it’s in the DNA of a Warrior fan to always expect the worst, but the devil Cohan is gone. Rowell and Nelson will be gone soon too. Lacob and Guber are in position to make the team a winner over the next couple years.

  • Jeremy

    -Q: So you have either/ors with your investment candidates?

    -LACOB: We have a lot of people. First of all, we have, like, one or two slots left, the way we’ve architected the investment group. And I’ve got five times the number of people that I need to fill those, that are interested, and I’ve talked to.

    So the question is, they’ve got to give me a final decision and we’ve got to make a final decision as to whether we want them to be in the group.


  • steve

    Hire Mullin back as GM if he will come back and get Mark Jackson as the head coach. A great point to teach Monte and Stephen. Done.