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Updated: July 16th, 2011 12:41pm
Don Nelson says he wants Wolves job: 'I think it'd be a great fit'

Don Nelson says he wants Wolves job: 'I think it'd be a great fit'

by Tom Pelissero
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The Minnesota Timberwolves have spoken with the winningest coach in NBA history about their vacancy -- and Don Nelson sounds interested.

"I think it'd be a great fit," Nelson told the Star Tribune on Friday from his Maui home. "I love Minnesota."

Nelson's up-tempo style fits the mold David Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, says he wants from his next coach. And after 1,335 victories over 31 seasons with Milwaukee, Golden State (twice), New York and Dallas, there is no doubting Nelson's coaching acumen.

But at 71 years old, and with a known aversion to inexperienced players, is Nelson the man to take over a young team that went 32-132 in two seasons under recently fired coach Kurt Rambis?

"I'm a lifer," Nelson told the Star Tribune. "I love basketball. I don't know how else to put it."

Nelson told the newspaper he spoke with Kahn for about 40 minutes by phone recently and planned to speak to him again sometime this weekend. He has ties to the Twin Cities, too -- his daughter and grandchildren live in Minnetonka.

The Muskegon, Mich., native sat out last season after a four-year stint with the Golden State Warriors, who won 90 games in Nelson's first two seasons but went a combined 55-109 thereafter.

The Wolves have been linked to several other coaches, including Portland assistant Bernie Bickerstaff. None have the pedigree of Nelson, whom the Star Tribune reported would command between $3 million and $4 million a year plus bonuses, but none are as old as him either.

"I don't feel my age," Nelson told the newspaper. "I may look like it. I may act like it. But I don't feel it. I'd love to strap it on again."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Kurt Rambis