As much of the sports nation, I was deepen surprised and saddened to hear of George Karl’s new bout with cancer. And at that instance him as coach is an after thought and everybody sees him as a father, son, husband and as a person. Thoughts and prayers once again go out to another member of the Nuggets family, as almost two years ago Denver’s Brazilian center had to battle testicular cancer.
While Karl has banged heads with his players over his coaching years, all those issues went out the window as Denver’s entire squad stood by its coach’s side as his lips quivered and eyes started to get teary eyed.
“I’m very blessed to have great family, friends, organization and team that’s supported me — and I will need all of them in different ways,” Karl said. “I don’t think I’m a guy who needs sympathy, but I do need support. The major desire for me is to kick this cancer’s butt and stay with a team that I think can win a championship.”
“Everybody has (leadership) responsibility now. Everybody needs to give a little more effort,” Nene told the press.
It isn’t a situation where Karl is taking a game or two off, he may not even be back for the playoffs. And now the Nuggets have to challenge with former Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley at the helms. Dantley’s challenge starts Thusday as Denver goes into Cleveland to face a Cavaliers team that have won 13-straight games.
While the big question is Karl’s health, but the next question is team-wise how will it affect a Denver’s squad that continues to overcome one issue after another.
The saddest part of this story was how this announcement followed arguably one of the best weeks of Karl’s life. He first signed a one-year extension as the Nuggets’ head coach and then he was honored as the Western Conference head coach during the All-Star game.
However, for now all we can do is give our thoughts and prayers to George Karl as he fights something bigger than the game.