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    Lester Quinones’ funny text to Steve Kerr about dated basketball reference – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

    As a player and coach, Steve Kerr has gone through many different generations since first stepping foot in the NBA world.

    Born in 1965, Kerr began his NBA playing career in the late 1980s until he retired in 2003. He never really left the game, though, and has been the coach of the Warriors since 2014. And as he prepares to get his team back to championship contention in 2023-24, he’s beginning to realize some of his coaching references are a little ahead of his players’ time.

    Kerr joined KNBR’s “Tolbert & Copes” on Monday and shared a great story about a recent time he referenced legendary coach Don Nelson and the widely known fast-paced offense he developed, often referred to as “Nellie Ball.”

    “My pop culture references are so outdated. Speaking of which, toward the end of the [Los Angeles] Lakers [preseason] game, the Lakers had 70 in the first half and so I went down to the end of the bench and during the action, I said to the guys who were sitting, I said, ‘Guys, we’re not hitting on any of the things that we’re trying to get better with. We’re turning it over, we’re not defending anybody. We’re just trying to outscore them. It’s just Nellie Ball. This is just Nellie Ball.’

    “And I didn’t think anything of it. And the next day, I got a text from Lester Quiñones, and he had Google’d Nellie Ball. He screenshotted a picture of Nellie Ball and he goes, ‘I had to look this up, Coach. That reference went straight over my head.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god of course it did. These guys weren’t even born when Nellie was coaching.’ So I got to start updating my pop culture.”

    Nelson first coached the Warriors from 1988 to 1995. Quiñones was born in 2000.

    “Nellie Ball” was developed because Nelson wanted to speed up the pace of the game. A simple concept, some might think, but Nelson actually did it. It proved to be effective, too, as he is one of the winningest coaches in NBA history.

    Even after his coaching retirement in 2010, Nellie Ball still is widely implemented across the basketball universe. But like Quiñones, some players just might not know there’s a name to it.

    But it’s safe to say Kerr learned to know his audience before his next team huddle.

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