Saturday, March 19, 2005


Nelson resigns his post .

We did a segment this week where I told Dan that despite having no source or insider information, I expected Nellie to leave us this summer. It just seemed like a beat down with his health, his wife's health, his age, his team, etc...It looked to me that it was time that he spent his days in Maui full-time.

Well, I guess I was wrong. He left before lunch. Avery is now your leader.

Mark Stein offers some reasoning to the decision

"I see a little slippage as a team," Nelson said. "The team is just responding better to Avery at this point."

The 64-year-old Nelson also had the title of general manager, but most of those duties were done by his son, Donnie, the team's president of basketball operations. The elder Nelson will stay with the team as a consultant.

"Nellie has earned the right to approach this any way he wants," team owner Mark Cuban said. "I just wanted to be supportive of any direction he wants to go."

So, why did Nellie quit? The timing is curious. Theories abound from his wife’s health to Cuban becoming all the more annoyed by the recent home failures, to not wanting Avery to get away. Time will tell soon enough…


Anonymous said...

Crazy, I'm just glad that he stepped down on his own so Cuban didn't have to fire the guy and pay him for nothing for 2 more years. :)

Walt said...

I think this one can actually be taken at face value: The team does do better under Avery.
Just a thought.

Chris said...

I am happy for Don if this was done under his own terms. His health, his wifes health should all be top priority. Happy retirement Don!

Anonymous said...

It's best this way. If it happened at the end of the season, some of AJ's veteran coaching help might have retired as well (Del Harris). This way, AJ has the benefit of maintaining the staff for a while as he adjusts to being the full-time head coach.

big smooth said...

It was time for a change. Nellie has flat out looked beaten down this season, whether it be the play of the team, his health or his wife's health, his age, realizing he doesn't need this anymore, whatever the reason. The teams needs a change in direction and it's a good thing AJ has been groomed to take over. Maybe Nellie had known for a while that his departure could occur mid-season and had been getting Avery ready for it because of it...
I'm looking forward to the Avery Johnson era to begin. Yes, it seems strange making such a decision at this point in the season, but the team was coached 13 games already by Avery. I think AJ has gotten the attention of the team more effectively in the games he's coached and they've responded. Defense is what the Mavericks need to focus on and a change in the coach may be the answer.

Cuban brought the financial flexibility when he bought the Mavs to help it become one of the upper echelon teams. It was Nelson though that planted the seeds for this thing to end up where it's at, and we should all be thankful to him for that. He definitely left the team in a better situation then when he took over.