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The NBA’s all-time winningest coach , Don Nelson, was recognized on Friday as he was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Former Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson took in this amazing celebration and was even recognized by one of the legends who had never played for him, or with him. Fellow Hall of Famer Bill Walton believes everybody is focusing on the wrong things that made Nelson the NBA’s all-time winningest coach.

“Everybody says he invented small ball,” Walton, the former center, said Friday night at the enshrinement ceremony. “But it wasn’t small ball, it was skill ball. Put the best players on the court. Get the big stiffs out of there. “I love Don Nelson. It’s so well-deserved and tragically overdue. The game of basketball is lucky to have had so many years of Don Nelson.”

Nelson, who coached the Warriors for 11 seasons over two stints, got the ultimate validation of his career when he and 11 others were officially welcomed to the Hall of Fame. Also inducted were the late Don Barksdale, who attended Berkeley High and was the first black player on the U.S. Olympic team (1948) and in the NBA All-Star game (1953), former Warriors Ralph Sampson and Jamaal Wilkes, Reggie Miller, Chet Walker, Mel Daniels, Katrina McClain, Lidia Alexeeva, Hank Nichols, Phil Knight and the All American Redheads.

Nelson’s induction speech spanned his career. He paid tribute to his valued assistants — from K.C. Jones to Del Harris to Keith Smart, son Donnie Nelson and so many others. NBA commissioner David Stern, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving and so many others were there. Nelson either played against or coached against just about all of them.

“He was a game-changer,” said Chris Mullin, who played for Nelson at Golden State and was one of his presenters, along with Bob Lanier and Satch Sanders. “You can’t say that about many people. He was like having another great player who was on the bench and could help you win. He was a difference-maker. One of the best of all time.”

Nelson said he felt unworthy in many respects, despite winning a record 1,335 games as an NBA coach. Many NBA Players would beg to differ as he transformed the game with his unique coaching style.  Look for Don Nelson to relive this amazing celebration in future speaking engagements and corporate appearances.

If your company is interested in finding out booking fees and availability for a Hall of Fame Coach like Don Nelson or other sports celebrities for a Television Commercial or other TV Appearance, Corporate Appearance, Product Endorsement Deal or Speaking Engagement, call us at 1.888.246.7141 or fill out the booking form.

Watch Don Nelson Speaking at his the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:

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