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.
Nelson Tell the San Francisco Chronicle On Monday, he and his wife opened their short-term Maui rentals to those displaced by the fires.
“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 have died after fires swept the west side of Maui last week, making the fires the deadliest in the United States in more than a century. In The New York Times. The death toll is expected to rise in the coming days.
The fires mainly destroyed the city of Lahaina, 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. Floyd Mayweather flew nearly 70 Maui families and provided them with hotel rooms, food, clothes and more last week. Colin Morikawa has pledged to donate $1,000 to relief efforts for every birdie he makes during the FedExCup Playoffs on the PGA Tour as well.
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 here is so good… I’m not going anywhere. This is home. Right now, it needs all our help.”