Now Janny Hu is reporting what Marc Stein said this morning: Don Nelson will soon be announced as the new head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Hu notes that it wasn't all that long ago that Nelson and owner Chris Cohan were in a legal tussle. Mike Montgomery, reportedly, has been bought out. Hu reports:
According to one of the sources, the Warriors waited until Montgomery returned from vacation to negotiate a buyout. He was in Las Vegas last week working in Michael Jordan's annual basketball camp.
That the Warriors are switching coaches perhaps isn't as surprising as the identity of their incoming coach. Nelson was sued by Warriors owner Chris Cohan when he resurfaced with the Knicks for the 1995-96 season. While Nelson's stop in New York lasted less than a year, his litigation with Cohan dragged on until 1999.
Nelson went on to a highly successful run in Dallas, inheriting one of the worst teams in the league and turning them into a perennial playoff power. The Mavericks posted their first 60-win season in 2001-02 and have won at least 53 games each of the past six years.
Nelson was in the process of grooming Avery Johnson to take over when he abruptly stepped down as head coach amid health concerns last March. He is still contractually tied to the Mavericks -- his five-year role as a team consultant begins this season and will pay him a total of $1 million -- but the deal does not preclude him from leaving for another head coaching job.
A move to Golden State brings Nelson together again with Mullin and GM Rod Higgins, two of his players during the popular Run TMC era. It's a costly reunion for the Warriors, buying out Montgomery, who had $5 million in salary due for the remainder of his four-year contract, while likely paying Nelson more than the $5 million a year he made with the Mavericks.