NBA Stands Behind Carmelo Anthony After George Karl Takes Shots in New Book ‘Furious George’
Rarely do head coaches talk down on their former players. Even terrible relationships usually don’t result in many public comments. George Karl, however, took no prisoners in his new book, “Furious George,” where he talked about players such as New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony and Cleveland Cavaliers J.R. Smith, both of whom Karl coached with the Denver Nuggets.
Karl, who most recently coached the Sacramento Kings before being fired in April, commented on Smith’s “distracting posse”; however, he really laid into Melo.
“Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him,” wrote Karl in his book which is set to 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 really lit my fuse with his low demand for himself on defense. He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy.”
Carmelo, of course, was the leader of that young Nuggets team and managed to bring them to the postseason every single season he was there. Karl, however, doesn’t give Melo credit for that either.
“My ideal—probably every coach’s ideal—is when your best player also is your leader. But since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, he made it plain and simple 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.”
Players around the NBA, including former Nuggets teammates of Carmelo, have come out to call Karl “selfish” and eager to stay relevant. I’m not sure if he’s still looking for a job, but it doesn’t look like George has too many friends left in the league.
The excerpts from the book tell us a lot about the tone; however, it may be only the controversial clauses released early in an effort to drum up attention. If that’s the case, they’ve done a good job.