Smart in, Nellie Out

UPDATED: According to multiple sources, the Warriors are cutting coach Don Nelson’s tenure a year short and giving Keith Smart the head coaching job. This will go down officially on Monday at the team’s media day.

Nelson has one year on his contract, for $6 million, but the Warriors – which have a new ownership group led by Joe Lacob – is deciding to start┬átheir new ear era now (Thanks @FRSHBattle). According to one of the sources, the Warriors have agreed to a settlement package with Nelson, who is getting the entire $6 million according to one source.

Smart is getting a shot to see if he’s the coach of the future, and Calbert Cheaney is moving to the bench to be an assistant, a source said. It also gives the Warriors time to find a new coach if Smart is not the guy. Nelson is in town and one source said he has talked with Joe Lacob, the incoming owner.

Marcus Thompson

  • DN8

    Take care Nellie!

  • J Canseco

    Thanks for 07, that was fun.

  • Gswfan24

    Gonna miss Nellie but it was time

  • Ewok

    Nellie is very enigmatic.

    He builds a winning team, get’s the W’s, then he personally dismantles it with his odd decsisions.

    It’s always been like that with RUN TMC, then that stint with Dallas, then the ’07 run with Baron Davis. They were fun times but it didnt take long before they disintegrated. Oftentimes, they ended ugly with both parties having unpleasant things to say to each other.

    If you have a team that went to the playoff one year, and went back to same old same old the following year and beyond, then there is clearly a problem somewhere that needs to be addressed.

    Nellie can win a lot for the franchise, but just cannot finish. He wins regular games but the playoff scenario is not his turf.

    One only needs to examine his career.

  • Thanks Marcus!
    I wish Nellie could be kept on as a cigar smoking, scotch drinking scout – talent evaluation was always a strength of his – I don’t have any faith in Riley yet.

    Any bets as to how long Keith Smart lasts? I wouldn’t think that of all the coaches a new owner would make, K. Smart would be his choice. Let’s see.

  • Dresden

    Thank. God. I’m glad that Nellie is gone for good because he was bad news and getting rid of him is major addition by subtraction.

    This news is almost as good as the sell itself!

  • Gswfan24

    Lol, Nelson got every dime on the way out, gotta love Nellie!! That should mean the end for Rowell to because he signed Nellie to the extention and already cost his new boss 6 mil

  • A’s in 2010

    Rowell’s still here, Lacob fail.

  • jsl

    Thank Heavens! Finally!

  • ArmChair GM

    So the Warriors defensive coordinator has been promoted to head coach.

    Lacob comes from the Celtics where there is a huge emphasis on defense. Defense will obviously be more of a priority on the Warriors this season.

  • Ewok

    Actually, Riley is doing a good job.

    For the limited resources he have not to mention the low appeal of our team from descent players, Riley did a good job.

    We still have a core to revolve around, We still have a potential to grow and surpass expectations. It will be all hard work and we are just one player away from a championship and that will be big man for sure in tandem with David Lee.

    I have a feeling things are going to be ok than we expect just do something with the curse of injuries.

  • jerry

    Thx Nellie! Not putting you in the hall of fame makes the selection commitee look pretty silly.

  • FourSeasons

    Lacob made a major mistake!

  • dengel1925

    I will never forgive Nelson for trading Mitch Richmond for Billy Owens. Billy Owens???!!!

  • Mr. B

    Nellie – It was fun while it lasted. You are a good coach no matter what anyone says. This guy is a professional and took pride in his work. It is hard to tell given the amount or lack of sufficient talent with the W’s. As I stated, if Nellie was put in a better team like the Cavs last year with LBJ, who knows what would have happened. This was not the case so adios for now. Thank you for the fun you brought into the W’s the second time around.


  • Gunner

    What settlement package when they are paying him the full $6 million? Just go ahead and fire the guy!

  • RON B


  • marques 8

    Ewok, the only place Nellie dismantled what he built was GS. He built a dynasty im Milwaukee that lasted 10 years. He built another in Dallas by drafting Dirk and signing Nash. He didn’t let Nash go.

    I hated he came back to GS. He had left so much bad blood there and it waited on him. I have never seen sportswriters feast on an old man with more vigor. It was very distasteful, particularly in that he gave you thrills you didn’t expect in the first year, a winning record in the second that would have taken them to the playoffs the second year. Then Baron left and after Baron left a lot of things happened–Harrington, Randolph, whatever–most of which were born out of proportion. Those guys really weren’t going to make a difference. My bet is Nellie thought he would have Baron one more year and be competitive. I wish he had left when Baron did. I would have had to read a lot less uninformed commentary from Mr. K, who played ping pong once and then just went home and practiced being vile. As things went down, Nellie gave the city better than it deserved. As always, it was ownership that failed the city.

  • Mr. B

    Now that Nellie and Cohan are gone, who is Mr. K and others going to blame should the season go sideways for the W’s? Maybe blame Kermit the Frog!

    It would be interesting as I am hopeful that we will do well this year but realistic that we have some talent albeit limited.

    Lets watch Kawakami as he easily put the bullseye on Coach Nelson.