Kudos To One Of The Most Competitive Coaches In NBA History To Make The Hall Of Fame

Kudos To One Of The Most Competitive Coaches In NBA History To Make The Hall Of Fame

In the NBA sometimes you are not cut out to be the player in your team. But that doesn’t mean you can’t coach. Many ex-players have turned their career around in the coaching department and have cemented themselves as some of the best in the game. One of them happens to be George Karl.

Karl started his career initially as a player for the San Antonio Spurs in the ABA. He played for the NBA as well before ending his playing career. Having no stroke of luck as a player and not being gifted with the proper talents has forced him out of the league. However, he took up an opportunity to be the assistant coach for the Spurs and has had a good season.

Start of a coaching career

A few seasons later, Karl came back as the head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. With an average roster the Cavaliers finished with a losing record of 36-46. But that would be enough for his first playoff experience. He led the Cavaliers to a win but would lose the series against the Boston Celtics. He would stay in Cleveland for another season and then move to the Golden State Warriors.

With the Warriors, Karl had a better roster than he was coaching earlier. He led them to the playoffs with a winning record for the first time as a coach. It was with the Warriors that coach Karl won his 1st playoffs series against the Utah Jazz. However, he would lose the very next round to the Los Angeles Lakers. He stayed one more season with the Warriors before leaving the team.

Legend in the making

The next time coach Karl stepped into the NBA was as the head coach of the Seattle Supersonics. During those days, the Sonics had a different kind of offense running which relied on their forwards and center. Coach Karl changed that and made Gary Payton as the focus of the offense.

Payton’s defensive prowess along with his command of the game was something Karl liked and he would let Payton hone that weapon for his entire career. Plus Shawn Kemp’s athleticism and interior dunks were a sight to behold. So the Sonics started to run a pick-and-roll between Payton and Kemp as their focal point on offense.

It was here with the Seattle Supersonics that coach Karl had some of his best coached games. He led the Sonics to the playoffs each season he was there and made considerable impact. In the 1995-96 season, he had the highlight of his coaching career as the Sonics went all the way to the NBA Finals.

Facing Michael Jordan who was his friend at the moment was a challenge but he met that head-on. However, it seems he was too optimistic as Jordan and the Bulls were coming off a 72-10 season and had completely destroyed everybody. Karl was no different and had to suffer Jordan’s wrath.

He stayed with the Sonics for 2 more season before heading to Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks featured star Ray Allen. He helped the Bucks reach the playoffs every single season. They had a break in the 2000-01 season where they reached all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bucks were favorites to come out of the East but the Philadelphia 76ers said no and took care of them in 7 games.

The run with the Nuggets

He stayed for 2 more seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks before heading to the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets had just acquired Carmelo Anthony from the 2003 draft and wanted some experienced coaching. Karl was the first option and led the Nuggets to have some memorable playoff moments.

Although he never won a championship, Karl won the NBA Coach of the Year in 2012-13 when he led a Nuggets team with no notable All-Stars to the playoffs with a 57-25 record. He lost the playoffs in the first round and Karl left the team and was away from the game for a short while. He came back to coach Sacramento Kings for 2 seasons before officially retiring from the league.

He finished his coaching career with 1175 wins and an NBA coach of the year award. He has had the opportunity to coach some legends during his tenure and he can stand firm knowing they have achieved a lot in the league. He certainly deserves to be inducted and finally got what he deserved as he has been enshrined into the 2022 Hall of Fame Class.

“Ladies and gentleman you have witnessed the 2nd greatest performance in NBA history.” That’s the way Soham was introduced to the world of Basketball. He is an ardent fan of the game capturing every moment, whether it be the long and turbulent regular season or the nail-biting playoff series. His perspective as a player provides valuable insight to the game. A follower of Kobe Bryant, he brings his mamba mentality in gathering every piece of information of the NBA.