As George Costanza famously noted, it's important to go out on a high note. If you tell a joke at a party and get a huge laugh, you excuse yourself and quit while you're ahead. Apparently subscribing to this philosophy, Warriors coach Don Nelson — having vanquished the invincible Mavericks with a team that wasn't even supposed to be in the playoffs — as waved to his party guests and announced "That's it for me, folks!"
"I'm kind of anticipating coming back, but I'm not sure," said Nelson, who turned 67 on Tuesday. "It's just whether I want to put my body and mind through another tough year or two. That would be the main issue." The once-retired coach plans to retreat to Maui on Friday with his wife, Joy, and decompress after a roller-coaster season in which the Warriors rallied from irrelevance into the best story line of the postseason. Nelson will see the Warriors at least through the draft — though he's skipping the league's official predraft camp in Orlando — and hopes to reach a decision by July 1, when free agency begins.
It's hard to imagine a better gig for an NBA coach: A former player of yours is the GM, expectations are relatively low, the players love you and you get to bring your dog to work. What, you'd rather spend your old age at the Springfield Retirement Castle? But then again, there has probably never been, in the history of sports, a better time for a coach to go out on a high note than with Nelson, right now. Sans a championship, anyway.
Meanwhile, Warriors fans are doing a little bitching. How odd.
Nellie The Undecided [SFGate.com]