OAKLAND, Calif. -- Former Milwaukee Bucks coach Don Nelson has begun the process of buying into Golden State, the Warriors announced Friday.
Warriors President Dan Finnane said in a prepared statement Nelson had started the process of becoming a minority owner in the club. The announcement ended speculation Nelson, who resigned as Bucks coach Wednesday, would replace Dallas Mavericks Coach Dick Motta, who resigned after the season.
'We anticipate that Nelson will be active in the organization and his role will be clearly defined following a meeting with Jim Fitzgerald (the team's chairman), Nelson and myself soon after Fitzgerald returns from Ireland on Thursday, June 4,' Finnane said. 'We look forward with enthusiasm toward Nelson's involvement with the organzation.'
Finnane would not comment on whether Nelson would also become the team's general manager. Currently, Coach George Karl also handles the general-manager chores.
Nelson, 47, was hired by Fitzgerald, then president and owner of the Bucks, during the 1976-77 season to replace Larry Costello. Fitzgerald and Nelson have remained close friends.
The veteran coach submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday to Bucks owner Herb Kohl. Nelson earlier had indicated he would resign because his relationship with Kohl had deteriorated to the point where he no longer could work for him.
'The exciting part is I'm going to be an owner,' Nelson said from Milwaukee. 'I'm going to buy a team.'
He said leaving Milwaukee and the Bucks is 'one of the toughest things I've had to do. Life must go on. I hope the Bucks do well. I hope Herb Kohl does well. I hope Don Nelson does well.'
Nelson, who took over as coach of the Bucks 18 games into the 1976-77 season, posted a 540-344 record with Milwaukee. He earned his 500th victory Nov. 26, 1986, reaching the milestone faster than any other coach in NBA history.
The Dallas Mavericks had said Nelson was at the top of the list of coaching candidates to replace Motta. Carter and General Manager Norm Sonju met Tuesday to evaluate candidates to replace Motta.
Nelson had a clause in his contract prohibiting him from coaching or serving as director of player personnel for another NBA team for two years. Kohl has said he would waive the clause for compensation, but would not accept money. It is thought Kohl would require a first-round draft pick and-or a top player as compensation. The Mavericks have three first-round picks in 1990.
However, a Warriors spokesman said the team did not think the clause prevented Nelson from becoming a part owner. Nelson also said no compensation would be involved in his going to Golden State.