Don Nelson’s All-Star team
Don Nelson is enjoying retirement. In Maui, Hawaii. Playing poker with Willie Nelson and Woody Harrelson. Smoking marijuana.
“I’ve got a medical card,” Nelson says. “I’m legal here. When any athlete gets old, every injury you have sustained seems to resurrect. It helps me deal with the pain without pain pills and helps with the stress.”
In an interview with the New York Times on Monday, the NBA’s all-time wins leader talks about finding out that he fathered a child on a road trip with the Celtics, visiting soldiers during the Vietnam war and growing his own marijuana. It’s called Nellie Kush.
In honor of Nelson, basketball’s mad scientist, the inventor of small ball, the master of the mismatch, this is his All-Star team:
STARTERS | Two players from the 1980s Bucks, two players from the 2000s Mavericks and Chris Mullin. No center, just lots of mismatches.
Forward | Dirk Nowitzki, 2002-03 / 25.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists
Forward | Marques Johnson, 1978-79 / 25.6 points, 7.6 rebounds
Forward | Chris Mullin, 1990-91 / 25.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists
Guard | Sidney Moncrief, 1982-83 / 22.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists
Guard | Steve Nash, 2002-03 / 17.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 7.3 assists
BENCH | Five perimeter players, Terry Cummings and the 7-foot-6 Shawn Bradley. Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond were two-thirds of the TMC Warriors, while Baron Davis drove the “We Believe” Warriors. Paul Pressey is often credited as the league’s first point forward.
Forward | Paul Pressey, 1985-86 / 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists
Forward | Terry Cummings, 1984-85 / 23.6 points, 9.1 rebounds
Guard | Tim Hardaway, 1990-91 / 22.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 9.7 assists
Guard | Baron Davis, 2006-07 / 20.1 points, 8.1 assists, 2.1 steals
Guard | Michael Finley, 1999-00 / 22.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists
Guard | Mitch Richmond, 1990-91 / 23.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists
Center | Shawn Bradley, 1998-99 / 8.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.2 blocks
Rookie of the Year | Mitch Richmond (1989), Chris Webber (1994)
Sixth Man Award | Ricky Pierce (1987), Antawn Jamison (2004)
Most Improved Player | Monta Ellis (2007)
— Kevin Brewer
Labels: Don Nelson