Don Nelson Is Headed to Basketball Hall of Fame With 1,335 Wins

Don Nelson, whose 1,335 coaching wins are the most in National Basketball Association history, said he’s headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

A three-time NBA coach of the year, the 71-year-old Nelson told ESPN yesterday that he’d received the call from the Hall of Fame, and confirmed the account during an interview with the Bay Area News Group in California.

“Very seldom do people get to do something they love to do their whole life,” Nelson said, according to a story in the Mercury News. “But I’m a lucky guy to stay in the business as long as I did. This is just frosting on the cake. It doesn’t get any better than going into the Hall of Fame.”

An official announcement from the Springfield, Massachusetts, Hall of Fame is expected to come today, the paper said.

Nelson had a 1,335-1,063 record over 31 seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks, taking teams to the playoffs 18 times. Nelson was the oldest active coach at 70 when he was fired by the Warriors in September 2010 following a second stint with the franchise.

“Even though I’ve been nominated a lot, I had a good feeling about it this time, I don’t know why,” Nelson told the newspaper. “I thought maybe that now that I’m retired, it could happen.”

Nelson also played in the NBA from 1962-1976, averaging 10.3 points a game.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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