After years of being passed over, the NBA’s all-time winningest coach is finally getting one of basketball’s highest honors. Don Nelson told ESPN Wednesday that will be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame this year. The official announcement will come at the Final Four this weekend.
The 71-year-old Nelson compiled 1335 victories in 31-seasons as a head coach against only 1063 losses. Nelson never won a title which was the most likely reason his induction took as long as it did. Of his 31-years coaching, his first 11 were in Milwaukee with the Bucks from 1976 to 1987. The Bucks made the playoffs in 9 of those seasons, including the last 8-seasons with 3-trips to the conference finals. He also earned 2 of his 3 NBA Coach of the Year awards in Milwaukee.
After Milwaukee, Nelson went on to coach Golden State (twice), New York, and Dallas. He also played 14-years professionally including 11 with the Boston Celtics from 1965 to 1976. Hist number 19 is retired by the Celtics.