When heading to Hawaii for the summer during the offseason, Golden State Warriors' head coach Don Nelson has a couple other things to think about than drinking a Mai-Tai or two on the beach.
The 68-year-old coach returned to the Warriors' practice facility in downtown Oakland yesterday. And in typical Nelson style, his press conference was held in signature Nelson style.
"I got the chance to rest a little bit, think about it, and wanted to come back," Nelson told the San Francisco Chronicle while taking a puff of his lit cigar. "It wasn't that hard. I just needed to get away for a few weeks. I'm ready for more action."
This isn't the first time that Nelson has jumped on a plane to the islands while Warriors' fans wonder if the second-winningest coach in NBA history would be on the sidelines.
Now, with the Warriors having playoff expectations every year in the difficult Western Conference, it is hard for Nelson to step away from such a good situation.
"Last year, we were very single-minded in trying to make the playoffs. It's what the organization wanted to do, to make the playoffs again, and we tried to do that and we failed," he said.
However, with Nelson back for at least one more year, things might not be as good as they may seem. Management, most notably Chris Mullin, has to decide whether to keep or trade Baron Davis, who can opt-out of his current deal. He also has to attempt to lock up restricted free agent Monta Ellis to a long-term contract.
So while Mullin irons out the team before the season starts in the fall, the former Warriors' forward knows that he will have his coach on the sidelines trying to become the winningest coach in NBA history. And as we know, extra motivation has never hurt somebody.