When last we saw George Karl it was the summer of 2013 and he had just been named NBA Coach of the Year for leading the Denver Nuggets to 57 wins playing an exciting brand of basketball.
So the Nuggets fired him. The GM had bolted for the north country and with a new GM coming in Karl had pushed for a contract extension (he was entering the last year of his deal). That push combined with a first-round playoff loss to Golden State (because Danilo Gallinari was injured) and philosophical differences about how much to use certain younger players (read: JaVale McGee) led the Nuggets to can him. After that the Nuggets brought in Brian Shaw and that has worked out… oh, no need to go there, that’s not the point of the story.
“I think I’ve got one more stint in me. I would like to try to get to the mountain top one more time. My lifetime goal was always to be a NBA champion and I’ve gotten close a couple of times but I’ve never gotten there. I would hope to give it one more whatever – 3, 4, 5 year stint with some team. And if I have the energy, which I think I do right now – I’m probably as energized and as healthy as I’ve been since about 15 years ago – I’m ready to go, just find me a team.”
The Lakers reportedly seriously considered hiring Karl before deciding to bring the history back with Byron Scott. Karl has been rumored in other spots, plus at one point he tried to inject himself into the Cleveland Cavaliers president search.
Karl isn’t always the easiest guy for management to work with, but what he does do is win. A lot. He’s been the head man on an NBA sideline for 25 seasons and has a .599 winning percentage. Plus his teams play an exciting brand of basketball. He’s been to an NBA Finals and made some deep playoff runs.
Which is to say, there are a few teams that should consider giving him a real shot. There are a lot of NBA teams he could help.
Earlier this season, Kyrie Irving missed several weeks with a shoulder injury. Throughout the absence, the Nets provided few details and no clear timeline. Eventually, a report said Irving could miss 2-3 additional weeks with bursitis. The Nets denied it. Later, Irving confirmed he had bursitis then returned nearly three weeks after the report.
Finally, Brooklyn caught the league’s ire.
The NBA today announced that the Brooklyn Nets have been fined $25,000 for failing to comply with league policies governing injury reporting.
For the NBA not to reveal even basic details while fining the Nets for their lack of transparency is ironic. It’s also ironic this fine comes amid a restart that featured the NBA being highly secretive about player heath.
The Clippers got fined $50,000 earlier this season for saying Kawhi Leonard was healthy. What did Brooklyn do that was less egregious but still worth of a fine?
LeBron James says Lakers have off-court issues, out vs. Rockets (groin)
LeBron gave a weird answer about this. He agreed that he and the Lakers were looking for a rhythm on offense. And then he said: “It’s just some things that you can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s off the floor.”
Mike Trudell of the Lakers:
LeBron James (sore right groin) is out tonight against Houston. Alex Caruso (left neck muscle spasms) is questionable.
Four Lakers are listed as probable tonight: Anthony Davis (sprained right ankle); Markieff Morris (left hip contusion); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (right ribs contusion); Dwight Howard (sore right knee).
Was LeBron referring to his groin injury? I wouldn’t call that an off-court issue, but maybe he would.
LeBron knows how to work the media. This subtle comment will draw attention and sets up LeBron to look better if he leads the Lakers through this mysterious issue.
Without more context, it’s easy for imaginations to wander – especially about a team with Dwight Howard, Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith. The Lakers could be facing a major hurdle. Or a minor nuisance. Who knows? But the unknown is scary.
It’ll be difficult to detect the Lakers’ progress during remaining seeding games. The Lakers have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, and without a home-court advantage in the NBA Finals, there’s no reason to chase the NBA’s best overall record. That’s why LeBron missing tonight’s game against the Rockets could be mostly precautionary.
76ers: Ben Simmons suffered subluxation of knee cap, considering treatment options
How quickly will Simmons recover? Once he recovers, will he face elevated risk of re-injury?
These questions now haunt Simmons and Philadelphia.
Simmons is a young star who’ll begin a max contract extension next season. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons opened Philadelphia’s championship window, and now rain is drizzling through. Philadelphia can’t reach it ceiling without Simmons healthy and providing value.
Even more modest goals in a disjointed season will be more difficult to reach.
The 76ers were just adjusting to playing Simmons at power forward. Now, they must again re-configure their plan – maybe for a significant chunk of the remainder of the season.
Even more burden falls onto Embiid, who has been shouldering so much with this mismatched roster. Simmons plays across the positional spectrum, so any number of 76ers could fill in while he’s out. Many of those lesser players will complement Embiid more smoothly than Simmons did. But the talent deficit without Simmons can’t be offset.
That’s the scary issue for now – and maybe a while.
Kelly Loeffler calls WNBA players supporting her opponent for senate ‘out of control cancel culture’
Players want to oust Loeffler as Atlanta Dream co-owner because Loeffler – a Republican U.S. Senator from Georgia – holds political stances they disagree with and is advocating against the league supporting Black Lives Matter. Loeffler said she won’t sell, and the league won’t force her out.
So, players have turned to Loeffler’s senate race, wearing “VOTE WARNOCK” shirts in support of Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock.
ATLANTA—Today, political outsider and conservative businesswoman Kelly Loeffler issued the following statement in response to WNBA players wearing “VOTE WARNOCK” t-shirts. The shirts endorse Kelly’s Democrat opponent, Raphael Warnock, following her criticism of the league’s embrace of the Black Lives Matter political organization.
“This is just more proof that the out of control cancel culture wants to shut out anyone who disagrees with them. It’s clear that the league is more concerned with playing politics than basketball, and I stand by what I wrote in June:
“We come together around sports, but promoting a political agenda divides us rather than unites us. The lives of every African American matter, and there’s no place for racism in our country. But I oppose the BLM political organization due to its radical ideas and Marxist foundations, which include defunding the police and eroding the nuclear family. On the other hand, our flag represents our values of freedom and equality for all. If we can’t unite behind our flag, much less the national anthem during this struggle, then what keeps us together? It’s sad to see that there’s more interest in tearing our country apart than in solutions that bring us together. I’ll continue to defend American values and our flag, because this is not a game – it’s the future of our country. “
“Cancel culture” is a vague term with shifting definitions. But people supporting voting for one political candidate over another? That comes nowhere near any reasonable definition of cancel culture.
WNBA players are not just basketball players. They’re human beings with varied interests – including politics. That should come perfectly naturally to a self-described “political outsider” who’s a sitting senator and running for re-election. If it’s reasonable for Loeffler to be interested in politics (it is), it reasonable for WNBA players to be interested in politics.
As far as Loeffler restating her previous points, she remains errant.