Right now, six coaches in NBA history have had 1,000 or more wins —Lenny Wilkens, Don Nelson, Larry Brown, Pat Riley, Jerry Sloan and Phil Jackson. Elite coaches.
Soon that will be seven, as George Karl stands at 999 and ready to walk through that door. He told FanHouse he’s not convinced he belongs.
“There’s no question I’m going to stick out in that group,” Karl said…. “(People might say), ‘Karl, how’d he get there? Did they give him a couple of hundred wins or something?”’
Karl is a scrapper — a guy who started 2-19 with his first NBA head coaching gig, bounced around between a number of teams and is a two-time cancer survivor. A guy always looking forward.
So it shouldn’t be a shock told Chris Tomasson of FanHouse he just wants to move forward and get that 1,000th win Tuesday night in Charlotte (against 1,000-win club member Larry Brown).
“I would probably like it in Charlotte and get it over with, and have some beers and keep our momentum going,” said Karl, whose Nuggets (13-6) have won seven straight games.
Karl’s first head coaching job was with the Cavaliers in 1986, but he was eventually fired. It happens to every coach, and you learn to fight through it to move forward. There were stops in Golden State, Seattle and Milwaukee.
Karl is settled in Denver, talking contract extension with the franchise. But right now he is focus is not on 1,000, it is on how to take a team that is hot and won seven in a row and turn them into a squad that can challenge the Lakers in the Western Conference playoffs.
Because he’s always looking forward.