George Karl may not have asked for a nicer way to start the All-Star break. Not only is he coaching the West team in the All-Star game and two of his current players, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, but he also signed a 1-year extension for around $4.5 million. Complete article is here.
Obviously the reason why it is only one year, is the monumental chance of there being a lockout in 2011. But the interesting thing is how Nuggets fans will respond to the contract. It seems that half the fans want Karl out as coach, and the other half think he can lead the team to the promise land.
All that matters is winning and Karl has certainly done that, posting a 260-161 record in six seasons with the Nuggets. The 260 victories, second most in franchise history, and the Nuggets are on the verge of their third straight 50-win season. However, it is in the postseason where he has struggled. He has only a 13-22 postseason record with the Nuggets, 10 of those victories came last season which was the first time the team advanced out of the first round.
Another issue Nuggets fans is Karl’s choice in players. He has chosen scrubs throughout his career, Frank Brickowski in Seattle, Mark Pope in Milwaukee and Anthony Carter in Denver. Which sometimes puts his team in jeopardy. He also has had a history of not trusting younger players, first with Julius Hodge, then with JR Smith and now with Renaldo Balkman. In 2005, he benched JR Smith in what proved to be the final game of the playoffs and this season he has refused to play Balkman, who hasn’t seen the floor since November.
In the past fans have had issues with how Karl uses his timeouts and his player substitutions, however, that has improved this season. And needless to say, the Nuggets struggles this season haven’t been much of Karl’s fault but the players lack of effort on the floor. Nine of the losses came against squads that aren’t in playoff contention and Denver has also defeated San Antonio, LA Lakers and Utah on the road.