OAKLAND, Calif. -- Coach Don Nelson isn't sure he'll return
to guide the Golden State Warriors through the next stage of their
Nelson plans to decide by July 1 whether he'll be back for
another season with the Warriors, whose surprising playoff run
ended Tuesday night with a second-round loss to the Utah Jazz. The
defeat capped the franchise's first winning regular season and
postseason berth since 1994.
"It's not a good time for me to make that decision," Nelson
said Wednesday at the Warriors' downtown training complex. "I
think it was really important that I came here. I'm not so sure
it's important that I stay on."
Nelson, who turned 67 on Tuesday, went 42-40 in his first season
back with Golden State, where he also coached from 1988-95. His
1,232 career coaching victories are the second-most in NBA history.
After snapping their 13-year playoff drought on the final day of
the regular season, the eighth-seeded Warriors shocked the Dallas
Mavericks in the first round, beating the NBA's best regular-season
team -- and Nelson's former employer -- in six games. Utah beat the
Warriors in five games, though all four losses were close.
Although Nelson signed a three-year contract to replace Mike
Montgomery last August, he wants time to talk over his future with
his wife, Joy, before committing to another year of the NBA grind,
which gave him sleepless nights and added 15 pounds to his figure.
Nelson plans to relax on the beach at his home in Maui until his
head is clear.
Warriors probably fans shouldn't worry too much, however. Nelson
also said he plans to keep his entire coaching staff intact, and he
spoke optimistically of the Warriors' potential for improvement
with a full healthy season for the roster that finished the regular
season 16-5 before flattening the Mavs.
Nelson plans to add his opinions to top executive Chris Mullin's
plans for the draft next month, and he'll decide his future around
that time as well.
"I'm kind of anticipating coming back, but I'm just not totally
sure," Nelson said. "Whether I want to put my body through
another year or two would be the main issue. I'm not 66 any more.
There's another life out there outside of basketball that's very
enjoyable, especially when you have the means that I have at this
particular time in my life."