Don Nelson emerged from the Golden State Warriors locker room all disheveled from a wild celebration after finally overtaking Lenny Wilkens as the NBA's winningest coach.
MINNEAPOLIS — Don Nelson emerged from the Golden State Warriors locker room all disheveled from a wild celebration after finally overtaking Lenny Wilkens as the NBA’s winningest coach.
His gray hair was soaked to the scalp not with Dom Pérignon, but a concoction of fizzy soft drinks after a 116-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night gave Nelson win No. 1,333 for his career.
“It’s just such a neat feeling,” Nelson said. “This is probably why we end up coaching, for moments like this.”
In 31 seasons on the bench, Nelson is 1,333-1,061 in a career that has made stops in Milwaukee, Golden State (twice), New York and Dallas. He won five titles as a player, has been named coach of the year three times, but has never made an NBA Finals as a coach.
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Nelson said Wilkens, who coached the Sonics to the 1979 NBA championship, has been in contact with him recently.
“Lenny’s been an idol of mine for a long time,” Nelson said.
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• Charlotte clinched its first playoff berth since its founding six years ago in a 104-103 victory at New Orleans. Also clinching was Milwaukee, which beat visiting New Jersey 108-89.
• Toronto All-Star forward Chris Bosh is expected to need “weeks” to recover after surgery to repair a facial fracture.