Former NBA player and coach, Don Nelson, has been officially named as a 2012 inductee to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Nelson, who told SportsDay DFW that he was sitting on his back porch smoking a cigar when the call came in giving him the news, is part of the 12-member class that will be inducted in September.
“It is a great moment for me,” he told the Dallas paper. “I’m the luckiest man in the world. I have been involved with the game of basketball for over 60 years, and I’ve never had a bad day-even when we lost games. They’ve all been great days.”
Throughout his thirteen-year NBA playing career, Nelson averaged 10.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He retired following the 1975-1976 season, and immediately set his sights on coaching, where he took over as general manager and head-coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, staying until 1987.
He spent the next seven years with the Golden State Warriors and one season with the New York Knicks before heading to Dallas. He remained with the Mavericks for seven seasons before returning to the Warriors, where he spent his last four years before retiring in 2010.
Don Nelson will be remembered for a lot of things–his boisterous personality, his innovative coaching style, and his building of offensive juggernauts, but to Dallas Mavericks fans, he will be always be remembered as the man who turned around a franchise that had never seen any real, consistent success prior to his arrival .