George Karl
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Report: George Karl described Kings owner Vivek Ranadive as overachieving immigrant who believes instincts are infallible

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George Karl reportedly removed the most of the Kings portion from his new book after he and Sacramento, which fired him as coach, reached a contract settlement.

But some of his thoughts on the Kings – including owner Vivek Ranadive and star DeMarcus Cousins – are leaking.

Carmichael Dave of KHTK Sports 1140:

Only one NBA owner earned his fortune through basketball – Michael Jordan. And Jordan struggled running a team for years precisely because he thought his instincts were infallible. Even Jordan’s on-court excellence didn’t directly translate to management and ownership. Jordan had to learn how to do his new job.

This is a problem with so many rich people, that they believe their (or their family’s) success in a particular field at a particular time prepares them to thrive in every situation. It’s something nearly all, or maybe even all, NBA owners deal with, whether they know it or not.

That Karl links it to the Indian-born Ranadive being an immigrant is off-putting, at best. It also shouldn’t be tremendously surprising given that Karl judged Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith based on stereotypes before even meeting them.

To be fair, perhaps Karl’s statements would look different in context – and maybe we’ll eventually find out.

Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

Though an early draft detailing Karl’s brief tenure with the Kings was released to several outlets, the book includes less than two pages about his experiences in Sacramento. His plan is to dissect his troubled relationship with DeMarcus Cousins, his disappointment in general manager Vlade Divac, and his outright disdain for principal owner Vivek Ranadive in an updated version when his contract expires.

If that happens, bet that those who worked with Karl on the Kings will react similarly to the former Nuggets who lashed out at their old coach .

Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:

Karl’s issues with DeMarcus Cousins were well documented, but what many didn’t see was how the rest of the players and others in the organization were irked by Karl or how his perceived arrogance made team employees feel he was belittling them.

Players bonded with assistant coaches, but the chasm between the roster and Karl was evident.

Karl’s candor with the media rankled players, especially when they believed Karl was loose with the facts. Never mind Rudy Gay being upset with being called overweight, how do you think the training staff that worked with him reacted to hearing that, feeling Gay was not overweight?

Singling out quiet players who were reluctant to fire back was another concern, such as comparing former King Derrick Williams to a vending machine.

“Why does he have to be such a (jerk)?” one player asked after hearing some of Karl’s comments last season.

PBT Extra: LeBron as MVP and other NBA postseason award predictions

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Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.

In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).

Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.

Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury

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Jazz point guard Dante Exum hurt his shoulder in a preseason game – an injury that immediately looked like it could be season-ending.

Though Utah doesn’t outright say Exum is done for the year, this doesn’t engender much hope.

Jazz release:

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.

After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).

The Jazz will start Ricky Rubio, and Raul Neto will be the primary point guard behind him. Wings Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles can all share facilitating duties.

Utah will probably be just fine without Exum this season, which speaks to his marginal place long-term.

Sprained ankle has LeBron James questionable for opener vs. Celtics

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — LeBron James‘ playing status for Tuesday’s season opener against Boston remains unclear.

James has been slowed by a sprained left ankle for more than two weeks and it’s still not known whether he’ll be on the floor when the Cavaliers take on the Celtics and Kyrie Irving, who asked to be traded by Cleveland this summer.

Following Monday’s practice, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said “I really don’t know” when asked if James will play.

James took part in some post-practice shooting drills with teammates. He did not speak with the media as the Cavaliers prepared for their opener, a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

James has never missed an opener in his NBA career, and teammate J.R. Smith doesn’t expect him to miss this one.

“Oh, he’s going to go,” Smith said. “He’s going to go, trust me that. I don’t care what he’s got to do, he’s going to play.”

 

Report: Richard Jefferson signing with Nuggets

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Update: The Nuggets will waive Jameer Nelson, according to Wojnarowski:

It looks like Denver will ride with the younger Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay at point guard — a risky proposition. Nelson stabilized the position in the event Murray or Mudiay weren’t ready for bigger roles. The Nuggets aren’t hedging their bets now, which puts plenty of pressure on Murray and Mudiay.

Murray should be fine eventually. Mudiay’s promise is far less certain. But this is a team trying to reach the playoffs now, and it might have to ride out growing pains from its point guards without Nelson as a safety net.

 

Richard Jefferson became a late entrant into free agency when the Cavaliers traded him and the Hawks waived him.

But the forward is landing on his feet.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Jefferson could help the Nuggets, who look primed to end a four-season playoff drought. They were set to squeeze backup small-forward minutes behind Wilson Chandler out of the undersized Will Barton and oversized Juan Hernangomez. Jefferson is far more comfortable at the position.

He’s 37 and doesn’t offer long-term upside, but he’s a savvy defender and still pretty athletic. He picks his spots well enough offensively to help on that end, too.

But Denver also has a deep roster that already had 15 players on standard contracts. There’s not an obvious cut to make room for Jefferson, though the Nuggets clearly have something planned.