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Nelson's Son Leaves Suns to Learn Ropes in Dallas

January 03, 1998|Associated Press

Phoenix Sun assistant coach Donn Nelson resigned Friday and accepted an offer to become his father's successor as coach of the Dallas Mavericks in the 2000-01 season.

The younger Nelson will be Dallas' scouting director the rest of this season, an assistant coach the next two years and head coach the following season.

"I guess I just made my dad the interim coach," he joked before the Mavericks-Suns game.

Don Nelson, who was hired as the Mavericks' general manager Feb. 7, fired Coach Jim Cleamons on Dec. 4 and took over on the bench. On Wednesday, he received Sun President Jerry Colangelo's permission to offer his son a job.

Donn Nelson's five-year contract had a clause that allowed him to leave to become a head coach.

Sun Coach Danny Ainge wouldn't let Nelson help coach Friday's game.

"I just looked at him differently. He's a Dallas Maverick," Ainge said.


Patrick Ewing, the New York Knicks' leading scorer, thinks he will be able to play again this season, despite undergoing what was termed season-ending wrist surgery two weeks ago.

"I have a goal to try to make it back for the playoffs or even for the end of the season," Ewing said Thursday at a news conference where he wore a cast on his surgically repaired right wrist. "I'm not counting anything out."

Ewing's optimism was not shared by Coach Jeff Van Gundy.

"Doctors tell me he's out for the season," Van Gundy said. "But I would never discourage Patrick from thinking positive thoughts. People have told him what he can't do for his whole life. He always seems to prove people wrong."

Ewing said there was no doubt he would be back next season.

"Definitely," he said. "The doctors tell me they did a very good job, everything is back in place. The nerves and everything should be fine."

Ewing will have the cast removed and the pins in the wrist taken out in seven weeks. He then will begin extensive physical therapy to build up the wrist.


Tony Dumas, sidelined for 28 games while recovering from knee surgery, was activated by the Cleveland Cavaliers. To make room for Dumas, the Cavaliers put guard Mitchell Butler on the injured list. . . . Forward Stephen Howard was activated off the injured list by the Seattle SuperSonics after sitting out 30 games because of a stress fracture in his right foot. James Cotton went on the injured list. . . . The Mavericks activated guard Erick Strickland and put rookie forward-center Chris Anstey on the injured list.

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