Carmelo Anthony was “addicted to the spotlight” and had no commitment to defense when he played for the Nuggets, his former coach George Karl writes in a book that is scheduled for release next month.
Excerpts from the book, “Furious George,” were published after an advance copy was obtained by the New York Post’s Marc Berman.
Karl coached Anthony for six seasons and clearly still has issues with the current Knicks star forward. Karl called Anthony “the best offensive player he ever coached” but Anthony drove him crazy with his self-indulgence and refusal to play hard at both ends of the court, Berman continues.
“He really lit my fuse with his low demand of himself on defense,” Karl said in the book. “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.”
Karl admitted that he was happy when Denver traded Anthony to the Knicks in 2011, viewing it as “a sweet release for the coach and the team, like popping a blister.” Karl added that Nuggets got the better of the deal in the long run. Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, two of the players acquired by Denver, are still rotation pieces there.
Martin responded on Twitter by calling Karl a “terrible person” (Twitter link).
Karl, 65, was fired by the Kings in April after a disappointing 33-49 season.