Mars Reel

Nuggets’ decision was stupid and disrespectful – George Karl

 
Atlanta Hawks v Denver Nuggets

via Denver Post

George Karl is not happy. Most people share his sentiment, and his reasoning. George Karl coached his Denver Nuggets, a team without a known superstar, to finish third in the cutthroat Western Conference. It’s better than teams with Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Marc Gasol, James Harden and even Stephen Curry.

Playoff success (or lack of it) was one reason for Karl’s ouster. That spans the last few years, not just this one. But how much better can you actually do? The Western Conference is really that tough..teams like the Knicks, who got Denver’s star Carmelo Anthony, would probably struggle to make the playoffs.

Speaking of Melo, I believe Karl handled that train wreck of a situation with a lot of class. Kudos to the Nuggets’ GM for getting the best possible haul in that situation. Oh, wait, that Nuggets’ GM former Exec of the Year Masai Ujiri, is also gone.

 

 

per Denver Post:

 

 

Upon being fired last week, Nuggets coach George Karl told team president Josh Kroenke, “I think I should tell you, I think it’s very stupid.”

The controversial firing of the reigning NBA coach of the year has led to much debate in Denver. On Thursday afternoon, Karl sat down with The Denver Post and discussed an array of topics, including his firing, his future (possibly landing with the Memphis Grizzlies or the Los Angeles Clippers) and the future of the Nuggets, a team he believes could have won 55 games next season, even with Danilo Gallinari out for much of the season due to knee surgery.

“I’m not going to stand here and justify my (playoff) record,” Karl said, but he believed the franchise was on an upward tick, “and to blow that away, it leaves you helpless, speechless, powerless, sad, a lot of words.”

Following are excerpts from the interview.

Q: Can you explain the emotions of finishing third in the Western Conference and then being fired?

A: “We won 57 games and are in a great place. Continuity, consistency, togetherness all are so much more valuable than what they have on their priority list of playing JaVale McGee or the young players. And first of all, it shouldn’t be that I didn’t play young players. It’s I didn’t play young players enough, because we played a lot of young players — Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos, Evan Fournier at the end of the year, Ty Lawson. And, I never had a meeting where there was disappointment, in that part of it, voiced to me. I heard through whispers. I’m sorry that 57 wins doesn’t make you happy. I think it was a special season because of the connection this team has with each other and with the coaching staff and with the city. The fans like this team. The staff likes each other. And to blow up that connection is, in my opinion, extremely disrespectful to coaching.”

Q: Will you coach next season?

A: “I don’t know. I’m talking to Memphis and have had basically preliminary conversations with L.A. (Clippers) and Memphis. I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to happen this week. If there is, it’s going to be with someone else, it’s not going to be with me. … I want to coach three to four (years) at least. But I want to coach a good team. I don’t want to coach a rebuilding team.”

Q: Can you describe your relationship with the front office?

A: “What I’ve loved about being here is with (the different front office regimes) is I felt we were all equal. This year, after the trade deadline, all of a sudden, I felt like Masai (Ujiri, the general manager) and Josh were over here, and I didn’t feel very equal.”

Q: What does “feel equal” mean?

A: “In the past, Stan (Kroenke, the team owner) would listen to all of us. I know I can be fired and the voices behind closed doors can be against me. But this year, I just felt that at the end, for a team that had so much success, unity and karma, I felt that Masai and Josh drifted into a direction that was difficult to understand.”

Q: What’s an example of that?

A: “It’s hard to say. It’s just communication, them getting mad about what I said in the paper more often than makes sense. Snippy texts about things. The whole thing it comes down to — you’ve got a great coaching staff, a coach who loves coaching the team, a city that loves the team.” (Karl gently pounds the table.)


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