Carmelo a ‘conundrum’ for ex-coach
Former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl is harshly critical of New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony in an unsparing new memoir in which he calls 11-time All-Star a “user of people.”
Anthony spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Nuggets, playing six-and-ahalf of those campaigns — from 2005 until early 2011 — under Karl.
“Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him,” Karl writes, according to multiple New York media outlets that obtained an advance look at his book, entitled Furious George.
“He was the best offensive player I ever coached, but 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.
“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.”
In the book, due out next month, Karl adds that he believes Anthony could have become “the best defender at his position in the NBA.”
“But 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,” he writes.
Anthony declined to get into a verbal spat with Karl on Thursday night but did say he was pleased to see others speaking up for him.
“It’s irrelevant to me at this point,” he said. “The truth of the matter is, everybody else is kind of speaking up for me from their own experience.”
Anthony isn’t the only one of Karl’s former players to come in for criticism.
Retired Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin and former Nuggets guard J.R. Smith, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, are dubbed, along with Anthony, “spoiled brats.”
Karl spent 27 seasons on NBA sidelines coaching the Nuggets, Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings.
His most recent stint was as a two-year stop in Sacramento from 2014-16 that saw the Kings go 44-68.
Overall, Karl built a record as a head coach of 1,175-824, and he ranks fifth on the NBA’s all-time coaching victories list.
His 22 playoff appearances include a runner-up finish in the 1995-96 NBA Finals with Seattle.