Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Nba_warriors_vs_a84e

The Hall of Fame ceremony is certainly a time for some reflection for the entrants.

Their speeches turn into a reflection of their successes, their stories and their failures. Reggie Miller admitted to pushing Greg Anthony and Michael Jordan on two of his more memorable 3-pointers in his career. There was a sense of finality to the whole thing.

For inductees like Reggie Miller and Don Nelson, the biggest regret might be never winning a championship. Nelson won five as a championship. But in 31 years as a head coach, Nelson only got as close as the Conference Finals a few times.

Nelson entered the Hall of Fame on Friday as the league's all-time winningest coach. He always did things his own way. He invented the point forward with Paul Pressey in Milwaukee. He refused to run a slow-down offense in Golden State in the Run-TMC era. He believed in a 7-footer who wanted to shoot threes in Dallas with Dirk Nowitzki. He is undoubtedly a Hall of Famer.

Nowitzki is one of the best players the game has seen. It was those Warriors teams that Nelson really used to jump start his coaching career. the Chris Mullin/Mitch Richmond/Tim Hardaway trio were a 1990s cult favorite. But the Warriors let Richmond go and it was one of Nelson's biggest regrets in his time with the Warriors.

Another one might have been the unfortunate end to his time with Chris Webber.

In 1993, the Magic drafted Webber with the first overall pick but sent him to the Warriors for Anfernee Hardaway. Webber played only one season in Golden State, winning the NBA's Rookie of the Year Award with 17.5 points per game, 9.1 rebounds per game and 3.6 assists per game. Webber would become one of the best power forwards in the game for the Kings early in the 2000s. He was a superb passer in the half court and Rick Adelman used him and the rest of that Sacramento roster.

Webber's skills seemed to fit the Don Nelson mold (if there is one) perfectly. Nelson would have been able to create an offense that would have maximized Webber's skills and potentially take him to even higher heights than he reached on his own with Washington and Sacramento.

Why did the relationship with Nelson and Webber break down and force a trade to Washington (in which Golden State got back Tom Gugliotta and a couple of draft picks, including the pick that selected Vince Carter)?

Nelson told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe that how things ended with Webber was one of his biggest regrets.

Nelson’s relationship with Chris Webber in Golden State a decade and half later quickly decayed, leading to the budding superstar’s trade to the Bullets when management decided the duo couldn’t coexist. That is perhaps Nelson’s biggest personal regret, and it may have given him an unwarranted reputation as a coach who couldn’t blend with younger players.

“Relating to players has never really been difficult for me,” he said. “There’s only a couple of players who haven’t enjoyed playing for me.”

Indeed Nelson's free-wheeling and personable style made him success at every stop he was at. It was only Webber he coudl not reach for whatever reason. That reason still seems to be unclear. Nelson told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that Webber was very difficult to coach early on in his career and he needed to mature to reach his potential.

Unfairly ornot, Nelson gained a reputation of struggling to coach young players after that incident. Nelson though never had a problem with many players. He helped reclaim Marques Johnson's career -- and life -- when he held an intervention for the forward while he was in Milwaukee during the NBA's drug-filled 1980s era.

Nelson clearly had a positive impact on the league and on his players. He gave them the freedom to play and he was willing to experiment and challenge the NBA's established ways of playing basketball.

It could have been greater if he could get along with Webber. But like all coaches, there are some players a coach just cannot reach. Webber seemed to fit every philosophy that Nelson could have thought of.

The Hall of Fame induction is not the time to think of what could have been. It is the time to remember what was.

For Nelson, what was is one of the greatest coaching legacies in the league's history.

Image: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images, Cat Man's Black Hole, Jose Carlos Fajarod/Contra Costa Times

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

MLBPA reacts to Kris Bryant's minor league assignment

Gregg Marshall's show canceled, Bama speculation grows

Report: Shaka Smart in discussions with Texas

Report: Rick Barnes expected to land at Tennessee

Demaryius Thomas planning to skip Broncos' workouts

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rockets GM: We think we can win NBA title despite injuries

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

WATCH: Stars' Patrik Nemeth catches puck inside visor

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

University of California soccer player found dead

Joe Namath parties with twin 100 year-old women

WATCH: Mike Napoli hits home run as bat shatters

WATCH: Marc Gasol misses shot, rips jersey in disgust

PHOTO: Minor league team to wear Jabba the Hutt jerseys

Lions LB DeAndre Levy takes ride on top of a moving plane

Colts owner addresses Indiana religious freedom bill

John Calipari addresses controversial ND comments

Arizona coach Sean Miller rips critics: 'Go cheer for ASU'

Report: NFL could push extra point back to 15-yard line

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.