George Karl “apologizes” to Iverson
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on May 28, 2007
A pretty interesting interview to George Karl was just published on the Denver Post’s site. The former coach of Real Madrid (ok, who remembers this? few of you, just admit it…) among the other things talks about the quick exit from the playoffs and how he managed our boy Allen Iverson (left, wearing the nicest jersey of his career as a Sixer, in his rookie year.. he looks better than in a Nuggets uniform, right?).
It’s a nice, even long reading: for the whole story you can click here, but if you want to know his words reguarding AI, just follow me for few lines.
The key sentence is this: “I didn’t do enough to help A.I., and I didn’t do enough for JR and LK - J.R. Smith and Linas Kleiza. Melo and Nene had outstanding series but I was still learning AI – (!!) – and I just didn’t figure out how to get him easier shots and do more for him when he was struggling. We could have had better spacing on the floor so the Spurs cound’t smother him. He wanted so badly to win and I failed him – (!!). I’m evaluating what more can we do for A.I. next season”.
Trade him, perhaps?
Ok, smart ass comments aside, here we have some new news (…) and some old news. These last ones are:
1) AI is a great player
2) AI is difficult to coach, even for an experienced, good, tough coach like Karl
3) AI is a fierce competitor and wants to win badly (coaches love him for that, I suppose)
The real news is that we have one of the best coaches in the league “apologizing” to Iverson and saying that he basically mismanaged him. For various reason, but he still did it. And he admits it.
The other shocking thing is that he put Iverson in the same category with J.R. Smith (a dumber Ricky Davis, assuming this is possible) and Linas Kleiza… ok, good guy and everything but c’mon…
My first reaction is : George, you do have some balls. It takes some guts to say these things, instead of turning to the old PR routine “we played hard”, “I’m proud of my guys”, “we have to get better for next year” bla bla bla.
In fact he goes: “… the most important thing a coach can do for his players is to help them get better. JR and LK were lost in the playoffs, and I didn’t help them find their way. My fault.” Another strong statement you can read in the interview.
I didn’t follow Denver enough this year to have a solid opinion but I tend to rely on what Karl says, guess that…
At the end of the day, Karl says doesn’t want to change his core of players, needing just more “chemistry, professionalism and leadership” instead of new players. So Nuggets will restart with Melo, AI, Nene, Camby… hey, maybe they will have even Kenyon Martin back (ok, ok, I got carried away…)
Hey I can’t wait to have NBA League Pass for the next season, I will follow Karl’s “refreshed” Nuggets very carefully. Probably they will end up again with no ring, but I have the feeling their games will be fun to watch.
(Short break from Sixers topic OFF)