George Karl

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George Karl
George karl.jpg
George Karl (center)
Personal information
Born(1951-05-12) May 12, 1951 (age 63)
Penn Hills, Pennsylvania
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High schoolPenn Hills
(Penn Hills, Pennsylvania)
CollegeNorth Carolina (1970–1973)
NBA draft1973 / Round: 4 / Pick: 66th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Pro career1973–1978
PositionGuard
Number22
Coaching career1978–present
Career history
As player:
1973–1976San Antonio Spurs (ABA)
19771978San Antonio Spurs
As coach:
19781980San Antonio Spurs (assistant)
1980–1983Montana Golden Nuggets
19841986Cleveland Cavaliers
19861988Golden State Warriors
1988–1989Albany Patroons
1989–1990Real Madrid
1990–1991Albany Patroons
1991–1992Real Madrid
19921998Seattle SuperSonics
19982003Milwaukee Bucks
20052013Denver Nuggets
Career highlights and awards
Career ABA/NBA statistics
Points1,703
Rebounds369
Assists795
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
 
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George Karl
George karl.jpg
George Karl (center)
Personal information
Born(1951-05-12) May 12, 1951 (age 63)
Penn Hills, Pennsylvania
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Listed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High schoolPenn Hills
(Penn Hills, Pennsylvania)
CollegeNorth Carolina (1970–1973)
NBA draft1973 / Round: 4 / Pick: 66th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Pro career1973–1978
PositionGuard
Number22
Coaching career1978–present
Career history
As player:
1973–1976San Antonio Spurs (ABA)
19771978San Antonio Spurs
As coach:
19781980San Antonio Spurs (assistant)
1980–1983Montana Golden Nuggets
19841986Cleveland Cavaliers
19861988Golden State Warriors
1988–1989Albany Patroons
1989–1990Real Madrid
1990–1991Albany Patroons
1991–1992Real Madrid
19921998Seattle SuperSonics
19982003Milwaukee Bucks
20052013Denver Nuggets
Career highlights and awards
Career ABA/NBA statistics
Points1,703
Rebounds369
Assists795
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

George Matthew Karl (born May 12, 1951) is a former American professional basketball player who has served as the head coach of five National Basketball Association teams, most recently the Denver Nuggets. On December 10, 2010, he became the seventh coach in NBA history to record 1,000 wins.

Biography[edit]

Karl was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania. After a college career at the University of North Carolina he signed with the ABA's San Antonio Spurs in 1973. When the Spurs joined the NBA in 1976, Karl began his two-year NBA playing career.

Early coaching career[edit]

After his playing career, Karl became an assistant coach for the Spurs. Karl then moved on to the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) as head coach of the Montana Golden Nuggets (Great Falls). As coach of the Golden Nuggets, Karl won CBA Coach of the Year twice, in 1981 and 1983.

In 1984, Karl became the head coach of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, taking them to the playoffs in 1985. He was dismissed by the Cavs in 1986 near the end of the season.

In the 1986–87 season, Karl coached the Golden State Warriors and took them from a record of 30–52 the year before, to the playoffs for the first time in ten years. They reached the semifinals against the Magic Johnson led Los Angeles Lakers, Game 4 of which is still shown on TV in the NBA's Greatest Games series. Sleepy Floyd hit 12 straight field goals in the fourth quarter that gave him two NBA playoff records (29 points in a quarter, 39 in a half) and finished with 51 points in Golden State's 129–121 win.

Karl resigned from the Warriors with 18 games left in the 1987–88 campaign, due to the frustration of losing when three of his top four scorers from the 1987 playoff team, including Floyd, had been traded, and the fourth went through alcohol rehabilitation and missed over a month.[1][2]

Karl returned to the CBA in 1988 as coach of the Albany Patroons for a year before coaching Real Madrid in Spain for two years.[3]

In 1990–91, Karl was back in the CBA with the Patroons where their 50–6 season, while winning all 28 home games, won coach Karl CBA coach of the year for the third time.[4]

Seattle[edit]

Karl returned to the NBA as coach of the Seattle SuperSonics from 1991–98, leading them to the NBA Finals in 1996 where they lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games. In all seven of his seasons in Seattle, the team made the postseason, winning three division titles, and eclipsing the 50-win mark in every year that he was coach for a full season.

Milwaukee and FIBA[edit]

In 1998, Karl moved to the Milwaukee Bucks as head coach, lured by a particularly lucrative contract offer. He helped rebuild a struggling organization in his first three years, steadily increasing win totals, and guiding the team within one game of the NBA Finals in 2001. However, his club collapsed down the stretch in 2002, falling from the top seed in the Eastern Conference in January to ninth place disqualification in mid-April. Bucks management fired Karl after the 2003 season, which saw the club make the playoffs with a win total just above the .500 mark.

He coached the US national team in the 2002 FIBA World Championship.[5]

Denver Nuggets[edit]

He returned to the NBA in 2005 when he became head coach of the Nuggets, taking over from interim head coach Michael Cooper on January 27 and leading the team to the postseason. On July 27, 2005 the Nuggets announced that Karl had prostate cancer. Karl enjoyed a resurrection of his career with the Nuggets, guiding them to an unprecedented 32–8 record in the second half of the 2004–05 season.

On December 28, 2006, Karl became just the 12th coach in NBA history to reach 800 wins when the Nuggets defeated the SuperSonics 112–98.

On December 31, 2008, Karl reached 900 coaching career wins with the Nuggets as they beat the Toronto Raptors 114–107.

During the 2008–09 season, the Nuggets, led by Karl, Carmelo Anthony, and the newly acquired Chauncey Billups tied a franchise-best 54 wins and entered the playoffs as the Western Conference's #2 seed. On April 27, 2009, the Nuggets handed the Hornets a 58-point loss during Game 4 of their first round playoff series. This tied the biggest margin in NBA playoff history[6] The Nuggets beat the Mavericks in 5 games during the semifinals, then went on to lose to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games, losing Game 6 by 27.[7]

Karl coached the Western Conference All-Stars at the 2010 NBA All-Star Game on February 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.[8] This was his fourth selection, and his first since leaving Seattle.

After the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, it was revealed in a press conference that Karl was diagnosed with treatable neck and throat cancer.[9] He was placed on leave of absence from the Nuggets while being treated. Assistant coach Adrian Dantley filled in as acting head coach for the rest of the season, and the team finished poorly, and went from the second to fourth seed. Although Karl was not ruled out of coaching the second round, the Nuggets were eliminated by the Utah Jazz in 6 games.[10]

He has since recovered from cancer and coached every game of the 2010–11 season, becoming the seventh NBA coach to record 1,000 career wins on December 10, 2010.

Having acquired Andre Iguodala in the 2012 offseason, many sports analysts listed the Denver Nuggets as contenders for the playoffs. The Nuggets ended as the third seed with the third best record in the Western Conference and the best home record in the league for the 2012–13 season. In the first round, they faced the sixth seed Golden State Warriors and won their first home game. After they lost the next three, Karl led them to another home win in Game 5, but the team eventually lost in Game 6. The series ended with the Nuggets losing 2–4.

On May 8, 2013, Karl was awarded his first NBA Coach of the Year Award. The team won a franchise-record 57 games despite being the league's third-youngest team with an average age of 24.9 years, and without any player averaging over 16.7 points per game during the regular season.[11][12]

Entering the final season of his contract, Karl pushed the Nuggets for a contract extension. On June 6, 2013, he was fired by Denver.[12][13] He left the Nuggets with a 423-257 record, which was the second most wins in franchise history behind Doug Moe (432). He led Denver to the playoffs in all nine seasons, but advanced out of the first round only once, in 2009, when they lost in the conference finals.[12][14]

Personal[edit]

Karl's son, Coby, played as a starting point guard for Boise State University, and has since played in the NBA and other leagues. Coby Karl is a thyroid cancer survivor.[15] Karl also has two daughters, Kelci and Kaci.[16]

Philanthropy[edit]

Karl is an avid supporter of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and serves as an ambassador for their Hoops for St. Jude basketball initiative.[17]

NBA coaching record[edit]

Legend
Regular seasonGGames coachedWGames wonLGames lostW–L %Win-loss %
Post seasonPGPlayoff gamesPWPlayoff winsPLPlayoff lossesPW–L %Playoff win-loss %
TeamYearGWLW–L%FinishPGPWPLPW–L%Result
CLE1984–85823646.4394th in Central413.250Lost in First Round
CLE1985–86672542.373(fired)
GSW1986–87824240.5123rd in Pacific1046.400Lost in Conf. Semifinals
GSW1987–88641648.250(fired)
SEA1991–92422715.6434th in Pacific945.444Lost in Conf. Semifinals
SEA1992–93825527.6712nd in Pacific19109.526Lost in Conf. Finals
SEA1993–94826319.7681st in Pacific523.400Lost in First Round
SEA1994–95825725.6952nd in Pacific413.250Lost in First Round
SEA1995–96826418.7801st in Pacific21138.619Lost in NBA Finals
SEA1996–97825725.6951st in Pacific1266.500Lost in Conf. Semifinals
SEA1997–98826121.744T-1st in Pacific1046.400Lost in Conf. Semifinals
MIL1998–99502822.5604th in Central303.000Lost in First Round
MIL1999–00824240.5125th in Central523.400Lost in First Round
MIL2000–01825230.6341st in Central18108.556Lost in Conf. Finals
MIL2001–02824141.5005th in CentralMissed NBA Playoffs
MIL2002–03824240.5124th in Central624.333Lost in First Round
DEN2004–0540328.8002nd in Northwest514.200Lost in First Round
DEN2005–06824438.5371st in Northwest514.200Lost in First Round
DEN2006–07824537.5492nd in Northwest514.200Lost in First Round
DEN2007–08825032.6102nd in Northwest404.000Lost in First Round
DEN2008–09825428.6591st in Northwest16106.625Lost in Conf. Finals
DEN2009–10825329.6461st in Northwest624.333Lost in First Round
DEN2010–11825032.6102nd in Northwest514.200Lost in First Round
DEN2011–12663828.5762nd in Northwest734.429Lost in First Round
DEN2012–13825725.6952nd in Northwest624.333Lost in First Round
Career18871131756.59918580105.432

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]