Longtime NBA coach and Hall of Famer Don Nelson is working to try to provide housing for victims of a deadly wildfire in Maui this week.
“We’re doing our best, but we only have room for about 24 people,” Nelson said. There are thousands of homeless people right now. It’s overwhelming.”
Nelson retired from coaching after the 2009-10 season, and moved to Maui shortly after. He began investing in real estate, and now owns several short-term rentals on the island that were undamaged by the fires. Nelson has now opened those homes to anyone in need.
At least 99 people died when fires raged across the west side of Maui last week, making the fires the deadliest in the United States in more than a century. . The death toll is expected to rise further in the coming days.
The fires basically destroyed the city of Lahaina as well, which is about 24 miles north of the Nelson family’s home.
Nelson, 83, is the latest in sports to help fire victims on Maui. It provided them with hotel rooms, food, clothes and more for the past week. For every birdie he makes during the PGA Tour’s FedExCup Qualifiers, too.
Nelson played in the NBA for 14 seasons, most of which he spent with the Boston Celtics, where he won five titles. He moved into coaching right after his retirement, first with the Milwaukee Bucks before running with the Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks. He finished his coaching career with a record of 1,335-1,063. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.
While much of Maui has been badly damaged and destroyed by devastating fires, Nelson isn’t planning on leaving anytime soon. The island is his home, and he wants to help him.
Of Maui, Nelson said, “It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, and I think it’s the most beautiful place in the world.” “I haven’t really left in eight years. Why would I? Life is great here…” I’m not going anywhere. This is the house. Right now, he needs all of our help.”