According to the New York Post’s Peter Vecsey, Denver Nuggets coach George Karl
fired didn’t pick up the contract of one of his top assistant’s Adrian Dantley after the end of the season.
Vecsey had some pretty strong words for Karl and how the process went down:
George Karl is the latest in that long line of disillusion-ists. Three days ago, reveals a source, the Nuggets head coach, whose opulent contract was extended several months ago, fired top assistant Adrian Dantley.
Dantley was an assistant on the Nuggets staff for eight seasons and took over the team in 2010 when Karl was diagnosed with throat cancer. Throughout his column, Vecsey made it a point to slam Karl and make Dantley into a martyr.
- (Karl) did not notify Dantley he was done until the majority of jobs throughout the NBA were filled or promised. And, oh, yeah, with a league lockout looming a week away. Vescey also said this was the second time Karl threw an assistant under the bus, the other being current Dallas Mavericks assistant Terry Stott, who was Karl’s assistant in Seattle and Milwaukee.
- He said Karl kept Dantley in the dark for nearly three weeks before finally making his decision and then blaming his other assistants that ‘A.D.’s firing was your fault.’
There is a lot of inaccuracies with Vecsey’s column, as expected because Vecsey was basing his article off of one source (and that source could be Dantley) – so it can be a bit biased especially the last part about Karl blaming his assistants. It is hard to imagine Karl walking into a room full of assistants and blaming them for Dantley being fired, especially since ‘technically’ Dantley wasn’t fired.
Chris Tomasson confirmed the report and said Dantley told him, ‘I got fired because I didn’t rotate on the bench.’ Dantley also told Tomasson a very similar thing as what Vecsey was told – that an unnamed assistant wanted to rotate on the bench.
One thing that was overlooked by Vecsey, was how assistants Melvin Hunt and John Welch have supplanted Dantley as the lead assistants. Both coaches work diligently with players during practice, before games and in games. Assistant Chad Iske also spent time on the bench in place of Dantley, and Iske also spends time working with players.
Unlike Vecsey, many of us watched how Dantley did as Karl’s replacement in 2010 and were unimpressed. He wasn’t a good in-game manager, didn’t earn the players respects and his rotation left a lot to be desired. He tried to have the veterans buy into his coaching style, but the team leaned more heavily on veterans Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups – instead of Dantley.
And while Vecsey may think we are ignorant to think the Nuggets could have beaten the Jazz in 2010 playoffs with Karl in charge, but it is hard to argue how much more successful the Nuggets were when Karl was on the bench.
It’s difficult to know what transpired in the situation, but it is not fair to pass judgment due to one person’s opinion.