I’m here at Candlestick Park, waiting for the 49ers-Seahawks game to begin, so I thought I’d use the time to weigh in on Warriors coach Don Nelson’s new two-year contract extension.
Of course I love it. I’ve ripped Warriors owner Chris Cohan and president Robert Rowell for pushing point guard Baron Davis out the door and killing a tentative three-year extension that lame duck executive vice president Chris Mullin had worked out. I criticized Rowell, in particular, for the way he took shots at Mullin in public over his call for leniency and forgiveness in the Monta Ellis moped affair. Rowell was very disrespectful to someone who has done so much for the Warriors as a player and executive.
But when it comes to Nelson’s extension, I’ve got to give Cohan and Rowell credit. I actually lobbied for the Warriors to do exactly that last year, to come to Nelson and offer him an extension before his contract became an issue again. It took them awhile to come around, but they finally reached the same conclusion.
It’s true that Nelson could get fed up and retire at any time during this and the following two seasons. But Nelson rarely walks away from money, and he told the Contra Costa Times’ Marcus Thompson II that he has had a change of heart and no longer pines for retirement in Maui. He said retirement is “not all it’s cracked up to be. So my philosophy has changed a little bit. I’ve lost some dear, dear friends over the last year. And the philosophy’s changed a little bit. Now I think I better bop ’til I drop.”
The Warriors have become so Nellie-dependent that the transition they’ll face when he does retire will be painful. But at least now the Warriors have bought themselves a little more time to prepare for that day when Nelson and his bag of small-ball tricks leave the Bay Area.
All in all, a good move for the Warriors and their fans.