Tag: George Karl

Manu Ginobili

George Karl says Ginobili, Ben Wallace are NBA’s Tebows


In Denver, it is all Tim Tebow all the time. The entire NBA seems that way lately (which is better than the all Brett Favre all the time era, I guess).

So at media day we should have known that Denver coach George Karl would get a Tebow question — who is the Tim Tebow of the NBA?

But this was a pretty thoughtful answer, from the Denver Post (via SLAM).

“With the will to win, Manu Ginobili is the type of guy, he has this exuberance of – we’re going to win the (darn) game with effort, passion and commitment. He’s the first guy that came to mind.

“A guy who wins it on his heart more than his skills – Ben Wallace. He was an undersized, defensive player who can’t score, but won a championship.”

I might throw Joakim Noah out there — Florida guy who nobody was quite sure how his game would blend in the NBA, but he’s worked out pretty well so far.

Karl’s answer doesn’t touch on the religious aspect of Tebow, which is part of why he has been in the spotlight. There are no shortage of religious NBA players — Dwight Howard, Warriors coach Mark Jackson are probably the best known — but no NBA player’s persona is tied to religion like Tebow’s.

If Tebow can up with a Manu like career, that’s not bad. Not bad at all.

J.R. Smith’s demands have Chinese team frustrated

CBA 11/12 First Round: Guangdong Hongyuan v Zhejiang Chouzhou

Somewhere, George Karl is just nodding along silently. Not his problem anymore.

J.R. Smith was back on the floor with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls, the team he inked a $3 million deal to play for through the full season into next March.

But he is getting much more than just that salary, there are a host of perks — and it’s still not enough, reports China Daily (via Ball Don’t Lie). His attitude and demands have the team ready to waive him, to just pay him to go away.

According to Zhao Bing, the club had provided Smith with a presidential suite at a cost of 6,880 yuan per day, arranged a special chef and spent 700,000 yuan in insurance as he requested. However, he wanted another villa in Shanghai or Hangzhou with a chauffeured car to commute for training in Yiwu.

Ding Wei, the team’s head coach, also disclosed that Smith has missed training three times with illness excuses. And the team discovered that once he was actually shopping in Shanghai.

They haven’t yet, he was on the floor with them Tuesday after his scary knee injury. But everything is not going smoothly in China, and Nuggets front office types feel a kinship with their brethren of the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.

Jordan Hamilton mistakenly thinks he can lead all rookies in scoring

Jordan Hamilton

I love Jordan Hamilton’s confidence.

Not sure he’s very familiar with the coach and situation he will find himself in once the lockout ends, but love that confidence. Don’t ever lose that.

The first-round draft pick out of Texas finds himself in Denver and sounds as sure of himself as ever — particularly his ability to score — in an interview with Hoopshype.

I don’t know. I think I can bring some scoring in, and as a rookie I think there’s the possibility I can be the leading scorer next season among rookies. I think I’ve got the confidence enough (to do it).

The confidence? Sure, he has that. The minutes? Well that’s another thing. First, we are talking about George Karl here, not a guy known for leaning heavily on rookies. And with this Nuggets team he will not have to — at the small forward/swing spot they can put Danilo Gallinari, Al Harrington, Gary Forbes and maybe Arron Affalo if they want to go small. And that’s not even counting J.R. Smith, who could be re-signed. Good luck finding a bunch of minutes in there, Hamilton.

All of which is to say, Jordan Hamilton is going to have to play good defense and really earn his minutes. Prove wrong your rep as hard to coach (remember that slide down the draft board?), keep your head down and fit in. Scoring helps, but do it within the offense. Do that and you’ll get your chance.

Just don’t try to impress George Karl by shooting a lot rookie. Trust me on that one.

The long, strange trip of Arvydas Sabonis

Arvydas Sabonis, Bill Walton
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From our “if you’re going to read one thing today” file…

There is a fascinating profile of newly-minted Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis over at Grantland. Another fine bit of work by Jonathan Abrams.

Sabonis is more of a mythical player here in the United States — we’ve heard of the legend of his greatness, but what we saw was just a shell of that. The Sabonis we saw had two major Achilles issues, a host of other ankle and foot problems, and was more than 30 years old. How bad were things?

(Former Portland GM Bob) Whitsitt asked Portland’s team physician, Dr. Robert Cook, to take a look at Sabonis’ X-rays before he arrived. Cook asked Whitsitt if he was sure his new player could play. “He said that Arvydas could qualify for a handicapped parking spot based on the X-ray alone,” Whitsitt said.

There are stories of Sabonis in Europe (George Karl raves about him). There are great stories of how Sabonis played through pain and battled with Shaquille O’Neal (when Shaq was in his prime).

Then there was the time Rasheed Wallace threw a towel in Sabonis’ face. Sabonis kept his cool, because if he had not it would have divided the team. But Bill Walton had the best quote about it.

Walton, who was broadcasting the game nationally, still feels remorse over the incident. “It was one of the lowest moments of my life,” he said. “If I was any kind of a man, I would have got up from that broadcast table and walked across the court and punched Rasheed Wallace in the nose. But I let Sabonis and the game of basketball and the human race down that day.”

Just go read the whole story, which comes complete with video highlights of Sabonis. You will not totally understand him afterwards, but you’ll have a much better picture.

Adrian Dantley will not return to the Nuggets because of a chair

George Karl

This is a pretty stupid thing to have happen. Adrian Dantley was the coach who helped the Nuggets weather the storm when George Karl left for treatment for throat cancer. He’s a Hall of Famer who played 14 years in the NBA. And the Nuggets essentially fired him over a chair.

Dantley confirmed to Chris Tommasson of DenverStiffs.com a New York Post report that his contract would not be renewed. Dantley told the SBNation Denver blog that he was was “fired” because he refused to rotate seats on the bench. Other assistants who sit in the second row wanted to rotate to the front seats including one held by Dantley, and he refused. So now the Nuggets lost an extremely capable assistant head coach.

That’s pretty ridiculous.

While it’s true that if asked, Dantley should have conceded because George Karl is his boss and you can’t undermine your boss, part of the process of management is handling conflicts like this. Add a few more seats. Throw off a Gatorade jug. Something. But there’s no reason this should have come to this point.

But the result is the same. Dantley should get picked up somewhere else this offseason. Hopefully they have enough seats.