Letter: Nuggets made terrible choice in letting Karl go
The Denver Nuggets decided to part ways with head coach George Karl on Thursday morning. This may have been the worst mistake the Nuggets have ever made.
Just focusing on last year, Karl was named the NBA Coach of the Year. He won the honor over two candidates in Erik Spoelstra and Gregg Popovich that led their teams to this year’s NBA Finals. Granted, the award went to Karl before the second round of the playoffs, but both of those coaches had more wins than Karl and the Nuggets’ coach still took home the award.
Karl also led the Nuggets to a franchise record in wins at 57. The Nuggets have been in existence for almost 40 years and have never gotten to the 57-win mark.
Karl has even transformed the game of the players on the roster this year. Javale McGee has shown that he can be the No. 1 big-man on any team this year and Kenneth Faried is getting national recognition he deserves. Ty Lawson was almost named an All-Star this year and Danilo Gallinari was having the best statistical year of his career before his injury.
A team does not let the NBA Coach of the Year slip away unless it has a plan behind the scenes. There has to be scheme that made complete sense in order to fire Karl. There is only one true option that would make sense.
Many people might throw out the names of Phil Jackson and Jerry Sloan, but they would not fit in the Denver system. Other coaches on the market such as Stan Van Gundy and P. J. Carlesimo were both fired at their previous head coaching stints so they wouldn’t make complete sense to bring into Denver either.
One man and one man only makes sense for the Nuggets to bring in. That man has to be Lionel Hollins.
Hollins is the coach of the Memphis Grizzlies right now and has had great success with a team just like the Nuggets. No real superstar on the team, just a roster full of really good players. Memphis, like Denver, is not a big market team like Los Angeles or New York.
The recent difference between Hollins and Karl is that Hollins has continued to take his team deep into the playoffs. This year he took the Grizzlies to the Western Conference Finals before being ousted by the San Antonio Spurs. Karl has only gotten past the first round of the playoffs with the Nuggets once in nine years.
The Grizzlies are letting other teams talk with Hollins as it seems they may be looking another direction also.
Hollins has to be the answer the Nuggets are looking for; otherwise they have just parted ways with one of the greatest NBA coaches of all-time for nothing.
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