Carmelo a ‘co­nun­drum’ for ex-coach

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in Los An­ge­les

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.

AFP

Carmelo An­thony

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