Ever wonder how Don Nelson came up with 'Nellie Ball' with Warriors?

Jessica Kleinschmidt
NBC Sports BayArea

Editor's note: Twice a week during this sports hiatus, we'll answer questions that Bay Area sports fans long have debated in "Ever Wonder?"  This installment: Where did Don Nelson's 'Nellie Ball' offensive strategy come from?

Some of the most successful teams in Warriors history had one big thing in common: "Nellie Ball."

The offensive fast-paced run-and-gun offense was developed by legendary head coach Don Nelson. He wanted to implement this way of play to speed up the pace of the game, after spending hours wanting to learn anything and everything about the game of basketball.

"It was amazing to listen to him talk basketball," NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors analyst Garry St. Jean said.

Nelson learned from the best in Red Auerbach, who coached Nelson as a player and who loved this brand of basketball. He would be pestered by Nelson in the forms of questions and quandaries in what would ultimately turn into a "dictionary" of basketball, as Nelson explained in a 2016 article on The Players' Tribune.

When it was Nellie's time to coach, he noticed he had a lot of smaller, great pieces to work with. That meant he was able to have his best players on the court all at the same time -- all while the squad was in the best shape across the league. 

And nobody could figure it out.

But that's why he ultimately became the NBA's all-time winningest coach, with 1,335 wins over 31 seasons.

Check out the entire story in the video atop this page.

More from "Ever Wonder"

Ever wonder how Don Nelson came up with 'Nellie Ball' with Warriors? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

What to Read Next