Don Nelson is a boss.
Nelson played in the NBA for 14 seasons winning five championships with the Boston Celtics and began his illustrious coaching career in 1976. He rode his “Nellie Ball” brand of basketball to a regular-season record 1,335 NBA coaching wins over 31 seasons.
In 2018, eight years removed from coaching, Nelson has a new brand — a strain of marijuana called “Nellie Kush.”
“Oh, it’s great. Great stuff,’’ the retired coaching legend, now 77, told The New York Times, describing the weed he grows for personal use at his retirement home on Maui.
“It’s called Nellie Kush,’’ Nelson said. “It’s O.G. and Hindu Kush. Hindu Kush is really good. It comes from India and the guy that brought it over mixed the two of them, so we’ve got Nellie Kush now.’’
Nelson says 85-year-old legendary musician Willie Nelson introduced him to marijuana while playing poker and it changed his view on the substance forever. Actors Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson also attend many poker events hosted by the ex-coach and were also influences on him to begin smoking.
“I didn’t smoke until maybe three or four years ago,’’ Don Nelson told The Times. “I never smoked when I was coaching. I just started. Willie got me smoking. “I didn’t think I’d ever be a pot smoker, but hanging out with Willie and Woody and guys like that, you know, everybody smokes in those games.”
Retired from coaching since 2010, Nelson also dabbles in real estate in Hawaii, building rental properties.
He still follows the NBA, but casually. He’s said he’s rooting for the Warriors, one of four teams he coached — including the Knicks, for part of one tumultuous season in 1995-96 — to win the NBA title. Nelson coached players such as Stephen Jackson and Baron Davis during his time in Golden State, two players who have admitted they smoked marijuana during their careers.
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