It's not every day that the reigning NBA Coach of the Year is relieved of his duties less than one month after receiving the league-wide honor. Today is one of those days.
The Denver Nuggets will not bring back longtime coach George Karl for the final year of his contract, Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday morning. The news comes days after general manager Masai Ujiri left the organization for a similar job - and a lucrative contract - with the Toronto Raptors.
With his tremendous resume and reputation plus several NBA teams seeking a new coach, the 62-year-old Karl won't be out of work for long assuming he wants back in immediately. Despite the roster lacking a marquee player following Carmelo Anthony's orchestrated trade to the New York Knicks, the Nuggets won 57 games this season, the fifth time in the last six seasons Denver won at least 50 games. During his nine seasons in the Mile High City, all ending with playoff appearances, Karl posted a 423-257 record and has had nothing but winning seasons at any stop since 1988.
The Denver Post reports that Karl wanted an extension beyond the 2014-15 season. Apparently the Nuggets' decision makers thought otherwise. Under Karl, the Nuggets failed to advance out of the first round in eight of their nine postseason trips under Karl.
Teams currently without a head coach, including the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers, might overlook such facts and focus on Karl taking the Nuggets to the 2009 Western Conference finals, the Sonics to the 1996 NBA Finals and keeping Denver in contention despite Anthony's exit.
Upon hearing the news, Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried said on Twitter, "So we lost a GM now a coach what's next!?"
If we're lucky, JaVale McGee as player/coach.