Sunday NBA Insider: From Coach of the Year to looking for work

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 2, 2013 - 8:40 PM

George Karl was let go by the Nuggets despite his Coach of the Year honor, one of many big names let go this spring.

hide

In May, George Karl was talking to reporters after being named the NBA Coach of the Year. A month later, Karl was fired by the Nuggets, and he is now working for ESPN.

Photo: DAVID ZALUBOWSKI • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

George Karl’s Denver Nuggets won 57 games last season. Shortly thereafter, he was named the NBA Coach of the Year. And not long after that, he was fired, speeding the usual timetable for such doom by at least a year during a spring when 50-plus game winners Lionel Hollins and Vinny Del Negro also were fired.

ESPN has hired Karl, who in a recent teleconference call previewing the season discussed a wide range of topics. Here are five pertinent questions the network’s new commentator was asked and answered:

 

Q: As you well know, there are 13 new coaches this season. What’s behind all these changes?

A: When you have three coaches that won 57, 56, 56 get dismissed and move on, it’s just difficult to understand. You have nine new coaches that have never coached an NBA game. And I’m not saying that there’s not nine qualified assistant coaches that couldn’t have become good head coaches. But I just think the whole puzzle right now, it’s too much. It’s too much change.

I can’t deny there’s a lot of coaches, including myself, that are trying to understand why this is happening.

 

Q: Is this the year the Clippers finally own L.A.?

A: They’re the celebration of L.A. right now, and they deserve to be. That organization for most the last 20 years has been maligned for doing not very much or anything at all. They went out this summer and probably knocked a grand slam. Their team has energy and karma right now.

But people forget: They won 16 games in a row, didn’t lose a game in the month of December last year. Everybody thought they were there last year. But they’re a young team as far as winning in the playoffs. Whatever they do in the regular season, they’re going to be graded on how they perform in the playoffs.

 

Q: You coached him in Denver: What about Golden State adding Andre Iguodala?

A: There’s probably not a better team for Andre than Golden State as far as his personality. Andre loves a team to play as a team. The only thing he has had problems with in his career was when teams wanted him to score 20 points. Golden State doesn’t need to him score 20 points. They need him to do everything that he does at a high level.

I like Golden State a lot. Their room for growth is out of sight. I think Golden State is going to be playing for home-court advantage come April.

 

Q: What must OKC do to get back to the NBA Finals?

A: My big thing is [Russell] Westbrook’s health. They haven’t replaced [James) Harden and Harden has probably become the No. 1 playmaker and they miss the playmaker that makes the team happen. I wish they would win more games because they were a team rather than just so much offensive talent with Durant or Westbrook or the three ball. They don’t win enough games playing as a unit, with unity and harmony.

  • related content

  • The Wolves' week ahead

    Saturday November 2, 2013

    THE WOLVES’ WEEK AHEADSunday: at New York, 6:30 p.m. (FSN+)Monday: at Cleveland, 6 p.m. (FSN)Wednesday: vs. Golden State, 7...

  • Jerry Zgoda's short takes

    Saturday November 2, 2013

    NBA debut to rememberSo if this is what tanking for Andrew Wiggins looks like …Philadelphia rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta - WP: A. Harang 11 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 3
Houston - WP: J. Fields 7 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 4
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: A. Burnett 2
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 1 FINAL
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 8
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 4 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Detroit - WP: J. Johnson 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: G. Balfour 6
Texas - LP: N. Cotts 3 FINAL
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 4
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 5 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 1
Cleveland - WP: K. Crockett 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: B. Duensing 5
Toronto - LP: J. Happ 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Fiers 6
Cincinnati - LP: J. Hoover 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: P. Neshek 5
Kansas City - WP: J. Shields 7 FINAL
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 4
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 2 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Kazmir 6
San Diego - LP: I. Kennedy 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: K. Correia 8
Pittsburgh 8/21/14 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How do you like the Kevin Love trade?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close