George Karl on Nuggets Firing him: “I Think it’s Very Stupid”
I think you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone outside of the Denver Nuggets front office who disagrees with George Karl’s assessment of his untimely firing.
Not only did Karl lead the Nuggets to their most ever wins in a season when they finished with a 57-25 record, but he also won the NBA Coach of the Year Award and he still couldn’t keep his job.
And according to a story by Zach Buckley of the Los Angeles Times via Ben Hochman of the Denver Post, Karl isn’t very happy about it.
“I said, ‘I think I should tell you, I think it’s very stupid,'” he told Hochman. “And since then, I don’t understand it.”
The Nuggets front office apparently took issue with the fact that Karl played JaVale McGee limited minutes during the season after they signed him to a 4-year $44 million contract, and also wanted to avoid potential issues with the coach who was entering the last year of his deal.
“We won 57 wins and are in a great place,” Karl said. “Continuity, consistency, togetherness are all so much more valuable than they have on their priority list than playing JaVale McGee or the young players.”
I didn’t demand an extension—I said to Josh, ‘I will coach this team next year, I’m excited about coaching this team next year, but in the last year of a contract, there are things that could happen. I didn’t say they would happen. I said they could happen.
Karl really feels he could’ve achieved something special with that team and is disappointed that the opportunity was taken away from him.
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, he said. The fans like this team. The staff likes each other. And to blow up that connection is, in my opinion, extremely disrespectful to coaching.
Just goes to show you, the political game that goes on behind the scenes, is just as important as what happens on the court.