SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Former Milwaukee Bucks coach Don Nelson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Friday.
Nelson was joined by former Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller; three-time NCAA player of the year Ralph Sampson; Nike co-founder Phil Knight; the All-American Redheads, known as the female Harlem Globetrotters; seven-time NBA All-Star Chet Walker; two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain; former Soviet women’s coach Lidia Alexeeva; and longtime NCAA referee Hank Nichols.
Nelson won five NBA titles as a Boston Celtics player and then spent 31 years as a coach, winning an all-time best 1,335 games on the bench in Milwaukee, Golden State, New York and Dallas. He has since retired and moved to Hawaii, where he runs a coffee shop and shaved ice stand. His best years were with Milwaukee, when he took over a losing team in 1976 and built it into a squad that won seven straight division titles from 1979-86. He left the Bucks in 1987.
“Hopefully, this will be the last tuxedo I’ll be wearing,” he said. “There is life after basketball. Come out and have a cup of coffee with me in Maui.”