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

Hernandez allegedly shot friend after fight over strip club bill

Report: Andre Johnson requests to be traded or released

James Harden suspended for groin kick to LeBron James

Mark Cuban will play the President in 'Sharknado 3'

Five most exciting one-bid conference tournaments

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Redskins interested in Ndamukong Suh

Report: Darrelle Revis likely to hit free agent market

Le'Veon Bell could face up to a four-game suspension

Report: Giants place franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul

Vikings GM: Team has spoken with Adrian Peterson

Yu Darvish on notion he quit on Rangers: ‘That’s BS‘

Who received franchise tags at the deadline and who did not

WATCH: Whiteside, Len ejected after getting into wrestling match

WATCH: Texas-Baylor fight leads to seven ejections

Nik Stauskas wears Michigan State gear after lost bet

Bret Bielema takes away player's car after DUI

NHL player traded after daughter's heartbreaking letter

Curt Schilling unloads on Twitter trolls again

Pirates Corey Hart cut his foot getting into a whirlpool

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter, jabs Clemson

Michael Jordan makes his first Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young rips ESPN anchor over Iggy Azalea insult

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

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

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

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.