New York Knicks‘ Carmelo Anthony had a poor relationship with George Karl in Denver. The release of Karl’s book made it public.
Carmelo Anthony‘s departure from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks was far from cordial. The nine-time All-Star blew up the franchise in Denver when he forced his way to New York via trade.
One of the reasons Anthony wanted to leave Denver was his head coach. Despite their 307-193 (.629) record in six years together, Anthony constantly butted heads with George Karl.
According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, in Karl’s new book “Furious George” he labels Melo as “a conundrum,” a user, not a leader and unwilling to share “the spotlight” or play defense during their six years together.
Karl also attacked former Nuggets and ex-Knicks, J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin calling the three of them “AAU babies” likening them to the “the spoiled brats you see in junior golf and junior tennis.”
Karl even used the word “posse” when talking about Smith, something that got Phil Jackson in a lot of trouble when discussing LeBron James’ inner circle.
Karl has been complementary of Anthony before, calling him a “very bright basketball IQ guy,” and ironically saying, “I think people at times harshly judged Melo because a scorer at times does look selfish. But I can’t complain. Melo helped the Denver Nuggets when I was with them win 50 games consistently.”
What a strange reversal from that to this.
“Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him,” Karl wrote. “He was the best offensive player I ever coached. He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight and very unhappy when he had to share it.
“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. My ideal — probably every coach’s ideal — is when your best player is also your leader. But 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.”
The coach also took aim at Smith’s shot selection. Karl seemed to blame J.R.’s father for his typically outrageous play saying he, “urged his son to shoot the ball and keep shooting it from the very moment I put him in the game.’’
It got worse. He piled on Smith more writing he had, “a huge sense of entitlement, a distracting posse, his eye always on the next contract and some really unbelievable shot selection.”
Karl said that the Nuggets trading Melo was “a sweet release for the coach and the team, like popping a blister.”
In case you haven’t been keeping track, the Nuggets have made the playoffs only twice since Anthony’s trade and haven’t been out of the first round. Karl was fired after the 2012-13 season.
Karl’s last coaching job was with the Sacramento Kings. He was fired at the end of last season after compiling a 44-68 record and butting heads with another star player. This time it was DeMarcus Cousins.