George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

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George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby Andrew on Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:56 pm

George Karl is publishing a new memoir, and it doesn't look like he's holding back in regards to some of the players he's coached. Some noteworthy excerpts:

“Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him. He was the best offensive player I ever coached. He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight and very unhappy when he had to share it.

“He really lit my fuse with his low demand of himself on defense. He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy. My ideal — probably every coach’s ideal — is when your best player is also your leader. But since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, he made it plain he couldn’t lead the Nuggets, even though he said he wanted to. Coaching him meant working around his defense and compensating for his attitude.”

[…]
“I want as much effort on defense — maybe more — as on offense. That was never going to happen with Melo, whose amazing ability to score with the ball made him a star but didn’t make him a winner. Which I pointed out to him. Which he didn’t like.”


Even after six years of constantly discussing Anthony’s defensive liability and lack of team success in New York, it’s still jarring to hear this comment about the perennial All-Star from his former coach: “He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight and very unhappy when he had to share it.


He described Anthony, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith — who all played for Karl in Denver and later got together on the Knicks — as “AAU babies” like the sort of “spoiled brats you see in junior golf and junior tennis.” Karl reportedly blamed the behavior of Anthony and Martin on their absent fathers — “Kenyon and Carmelo carried two big burdens: all that money and no father to show them how to act like a man” — while simultaneously blaming Smith’s actions on an overbearing father who “urged his son to shoot the ball and keep shooting it from the very moment I put him in the game.”


Needless to say, a couple of the players have responded. Kenyon Martin in particular had a lot to say. Meanwhile, Carmelo chose to take the high road. Also, while he never played for him, Jason Terry has an ancedote that doesn't paint Karl in the most flattering light:

“When I was a sophomore at the University of Arizona, I used to work George Karl’s basketball camp in Seattle. I was at a banquet, George walked up, he approached me, shook my hand and then whispered over to me and said, ‘You’ll never make it to the NBA. You’re never serious. You’re a joke.’ That’s what he told me. Word for word.

“And so I always kept that in the back of my mind, and every time I either faced a George Karl’s team or when I’d see him, I always had a little extra motivation. Yeah, no question. But that’s just George. I mean, if you know George, you know, for better or worse, that’s just him. That’s his personality. And he’s always been like that and I can see why guys had a tough time playing with him or for him.”


Well, then.

Some of the criticisms about the players' game and skills are probably mostly accurate and fair, though "tell-all trashing" types of memoirs do tend to come across as somewhat bitter and classless, even if there's some truth to what's being said. Personally, I think the remarks about the players not having fathers is low and out of bounds, especially given that Melo's father passed away from cancer when Melo was only two. It's one thing to criticise them as players - and again, even that can come across as being a bit petty - but making it personal like that is just low. I tend to agree with Charles Barkley here:

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I thought Karl got a raw deal in a couple of his coaching gigs, being undermined in Sacramento, and abruptly and unceremoniously fired after winning Coach of the Year in Denver. That may still be the case, of course, but given this side of his personality, and all those players who have spoken out against him directly or indirectly, he probably has to accept some of the blame for what happened as well.
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Re: George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby Jeffx on Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:39 pm

Andrew wrote:Personally, I think the remarks about the players not having fathers is low and out of bounds, especially given that Melo's father passed away from cancer when Melo was only two. It's one thing to criticise them as players - and again, even that can come across as being a bit petty - but making it personal like that is just low.



Took the words right out of my mouth, Andrew.
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Re: George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby Lamrock on Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:39 am

George Karl proves that beating cancer does not make you a good person. I respected him for a long time, but the way he treats people does not sit well with me. He seems to offend his players no matter where he goes, and now he's vying for one last moment in the spotlight by taking potshots at the league and his former players.
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Re: George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby Andrew on Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:31 am

Indeed. Some might chalk it up to over-sensitivity on the part of those individuals, but when you're the common denominator, chances are the problem lies with you.

Interesting how more isn't being made of his use of the word "posse" in regards to J.R. Smith, though. I mean, it was a big deal when Phil Jackson said it.
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Re: George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby [Q] on Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:38 am

I have said the same about Carmelo not playing defense and not being a winner. Guys like him and harden will only take their teams so far on their own
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Re: George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby Andrew on Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:02 am

Sure, some of the criticism of them as players isn't necessarily off-base, but to bring it up so many years after the fact and in such a bitter way is a bit petty. The stuff about growing up without fathers is really out of bounds, though. It's also disrespectful to their mothers, something Kenyon Martin pointed out in no uncertain terms.

Something else that Kenny Smith pointed out, it's a betrayal of trust and privacy. Things that were assumed to have been said in confidence are being trotted out in order to sell a book or spite someone the author had a contentious relationship with.
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Re: George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby Andrew on Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:11 pm

George Karl on the 'fatherhood' comments from his book: 'I said it poorly, I wrote it poorly'

Essentially a "I'm sorry you were offended" type of non-apology for crossing a line.
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Re: George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby air gordon on Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:45 am

Anyone catch the Karl interview with Zach Lowe? I won't shamelessly plug it but it was a good listen

Ill prolly pickup a copy of the book
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Re: George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby Andrew on Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:40 pm

So according to Jim McIlvaine, it's not as caustic as initially reported. Still, if you give a book the subtitle of "My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection", you can't complain that people expect it to take a few swings at people.
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Re: George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby mp3 on Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:22 am

Big Jim the old Bullets center or is that a names sake? (I should just click on the link shouldn't I)
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Re: George Karl Not Holding Back in New Book

Postby Andrew on Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:10 am

That's him. He played a couple of years for the Supersonics as well.
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