Hall-of-Fame NBA Coach Now a Marijuana Farmer in Hawaii

Don Nelson can use marijuana for medical reasons and smokes every day

Ex-Golden State coach Don Nelson. (Albert Pena/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty)
Ex-Golden State coach Don Nelson. (Albert Pena/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty)
By Evan Bleier / June 26, 2019 10:25 am

As a new episode of HBO’s Real Sports reveals, Hall-of-Fame NBA coach Don Nelson has traded in his clipboard for cannabis cultivation tools.

On the episode, the 79-year-old coach tells host Bryant Gumbel how he now cultivates crops of marijuana in Maui, Hawaii, for his personal use. Nelson, who is friends with Willie Nelson, has permission to use marijuana for medical reasons, and told Gumbel that he smokes every day.

“You’ve got to treat it like a baby,” Nelson said of his plants. “Water them, you’ve got to have music for them. You’ve got to bless them. It’s a whole process, I’m telling you.”

Nellie, as he is sometimes called, coached the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors. Curiously enough, Nelson, who was named coach of the year with the Bucks in 1983 and 1985, calls the marijuana he grows, “Nellie Kush.”

As a pro player, Nelson won five NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics following an All-American career at the University of Iowa.

Here’s a clip from Real Sports previewing Gumbel’s chat with the basketball Hall-of-Famer.

The episode debuted on HBO last night.

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