George Karl admits he’s surprised by reaction to book: “The backlash was interesting”


In his new book “Furious George,” long-time NBA coach George Karl has said that Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony were burdened by the lack of a father at home. That the NBA has a steroid problem. That Michael Jordan approved trading Scottie Pippen for Shawn Kemp. That Kings owner Vivek Ranadive was an overachieving immigrant who trusts his instincts even when they are bad. That Damian Lillard is holding the Trail Blazers back.

The reaction has been swift, from Martin and other former players to Terry Stotts (Lillard’s coach). Karl has been called the most egotistical coach of his generation, slammed as out of touch, and has certainly burned any bridges back to coaching in the NBA (not that there were any bridges like that still standing after his time in Sacramento).

Somehow Karl is surprised by that reaction, he told ESPN’s Mike and Mike radio show (as transcribed by The Sporting News).

“The backlash was interesting,” Karl said Thursday on “Mike & Mike.”

When asked whether he was surprised by the reactions, he said, “yeah.”

Karl said he has not reached out Martin, Anthony, or anyone else in the book yet, but that he will, and that some of what was in the book was taken out of context in excerpts.

“I said it poorly, and I’m sorry that I said it poorly, and I’m sorry for the reaction,” Karl said about the father excerpt. “I know Kenyon; the one thing I love about Kenyon Martin is that he’s a good father.

“Sometimes I think when you take excerpts out of the book, it becomes not exactly what I said.”

We will see if players choose to forgive him. That’s a personal decision.

But Karl will have to live with the backlash, whatever he thinks of it. Hopefully, he sells a lot of books, and that makes him happy.