Over the years we have witnessed far too many times pro-athletes who tried to stay too long in the spotlight and have kept playing after their athleticism, skills, or talent have abandoned them and has made them shadows of what they once were. Even the great Michael Jordan may have tarnished his legacy somewhat when he decided to come back from retirement and play for the Washington Wizards.
The desire to stay in the game when it is time to hang it up does not only affect players; sometimes coaches or managers want to be on the bench instead of fading away gracefully into the sunset. According to a report from “ESPN.com” former Golden State Warriors head coach Don Nelson wants to attempt a comeback after sitting at home this past season. The report states that the team he is interested in returning to the Association with is the Minnesota Timberwolves after they fired their former bench boss Kurt Rambis on Tuesday. The coach with the most victories in the history of the Association is said to believe that the T-Wolves has a good mix of young talent and that he is the right man to lead them out of the cellar of the NBA.
Nelson, who has a career record of 1335-1063, was fired by the Warriors on the eve of this past season and was replaced by his former assistant Keith Smart. It was the second stint for Nelson as the coach of Golden State; he also was the bench boss for the Bucks, the Knicks and the Mavericks during his long and distinguished career. During his time with the Warriors the veteran coach had problems with key players including Baron Davis, who left the team to sign as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Although one has to admire the competitive fire within Nelson that compels him to try to coach again; perhaps it is time for the 71-year-old former coach and player to enjoy his home in Hawaii and rest on his laurels. Better to go out a year too early than a year too late.