NBA: Ex-Nuggets coach George Karl lambasts Carmelo Anthony in new book
Despite racking up 1,175 career victories and becoming one of the most winning coaches in NBA history, George Karl has had the reputation of not seeing eye to eye with his former players.
The 65-year-old former basketball mentor notably burned bridges in his stint with the Sacramento Kings last year, and he continued the trend by recalling his dark days with the Denver Nuggets—particularly with his best player, Carmelo Anthony—in his upcoming memoir.
In his book “Furious George”, Karl took a shot at the 9-time NBA All-Star, who now plays for the New York Knicks, for the player’s supposed poor attitude and lack of effort defensively.
“Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him,” Karl wrote, as stated in an advance copy of the book, obtained by the New York Post, and which would hit shelves in January.
“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 added.
The pair spent six-seasons together with the Colorado-based franchise from 2005 to 2011, up until Anthony’s highly publicized departure to the Big Apple. Back then, Karl described the move as “a sweet release for the coach and the team, like popping a blister.”
“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,” the one-time NBA coach of the year revealed.
“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,” he wrote.
Aside from criticizing his former prized pupil, the outspoken instructor also directed his crosshairs to other former members of the Nuggets squad, namely Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith.
“Kenyon and Carmelo carried two big burdens: all that money and no father to show them how to act like a man,” he said. Martin never met his father, while Anthony lost his to cancer at a young age.
He described Smith as someone with a “huge sense of entitlement, a distracting posse, his eye always on the next contract.”
He also questioned the now-Cavaliers player’s shot selection and wrote that Smith’s father “urged his son to shoot the ball and keep shooting it from the very moment I put him in the game.”
Players respond on social media
As anticipated, his former squad took offense to Karl’s highly controversial remarks, starting with Martin’s furious tirade on Twitter.
The retired forward also called Karl “the worst coach that he ever played for” and that he never actually preached defense during his tenure with the team.
Smith, meanwhile, brushed off the criticism and fired back some harsh words of his own.
Still trying to be relevant. Sad just sad.
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 22, 2016
Former-Nugget Reggie Evans also chimed in.
I had some good Denver Nuggets Teammates. That dude is old and unhappy with himself.
— ReggieEvans30 (@ReggieEvans30) December 22, 2016
For his part, as of this writing, Anthony has yet to address the issue. Khristian Ibarrola