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Monday, June 27th, 2011 at 9:30 am  |  73 responses

Adrian Dantley: ‘George Karl Fired Me’


Differences between head coach George Karl and his assistant Adrian Dantley led to the Denver Nuggets not renewing Dantley’s contract, and things seem to have ended on a rather nasty note. From Denver Stiffs: “Oh, yeah, I’m done,’ Dantley said. ‘(Nuggets coach George Karl) fired me Friday.’ Messages left Sunday for Karl and Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri were not immediately returned. ‘I got fired because I didn’t rotate on the bench,’ said Dantley, who was regarded as Karl’s lead assistant and filled in for Karl for the final 1 ½ months of the 2009-10 season when the head man was battling a form of throat cancer. NBA teams are allowed to have three assistants sit on the bench, with others having to sit behind it. Dantley, who always had sat on the bench, said Karl approached him early last season and requested he rotate along with other assistants either sitting on or behind the bench. Dantley said he sat behind the bench for the final 67 games of the regular season and during the playoffs and wouldn’t rotate to the front of the bench. Nuggets assistants Chad Iske, John Welch and Melvin Hunt sat on the bench for those games. ‘I didn’t rotate,’ said Dantley, an NBA star forward from 1976-2001 who was named in 2008 to the Hall of Fame. ‘I wasn’t going to rotate. If they (other assistants) want the publicity to sit up front, I don’t need the publicity… I got no problem not being seen on TV and sitting at the back of the bench … This had to do with a whole lot of backstabbing,’ Dantley said. ‘I got fired because I wouldn’t rotate. And people felt uncomfortable (about that).’ Dantley went 11-8 in games Karl missed late in the 2009-10 season due to cancer. With Dantley at the helm, the Nuggets were upset 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs to Utah … ‘What upset me is the loyalty you show to someone and you get screwed,’ Dantley said.”

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  • Thor

    Wow…
    Is this not a little silly?

  • Waggle

    I hope he learnt his lesson from this. Rotate dammit!

  • Zabba

    Is Karl really that petty?

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    ^If Dantley were white, Karl would not have thrown him under the bus like that.
    I’m saying…
    As for Dantley’s part, pride only hurts.
    It never helps.

  • James

    This is obviously a he-said, he said squabble. However, if Dantley is petty about where he sits during games, I suspect Karl found him difficult to deal with on other issues as well.

    To the Philosopher: Dantley isn’t saying race was a factor in his firing so why are you?

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    @James:
    If race isn’t a factor in Dantley’s firing, then why is he saying George Karl fired him? Does Karl have that much clout?
    Besides, Karl is a known racist, anyway.
    It may not be a race issue, and I may be wrong about that.
    But given Karl’s history, don’t be surprised either way.
    I’m just saying that if Dantley where white, things might have been handled differently.
    I just try to read in between the lines.
    Again, I could be wrong. And, I probably am wrong.
    But…

  • Don Campbell

    everybody feels sorry for Karl because of his cancer but dude has been a dick for years look how he talked ish about Carmelo after he left efff Karl

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    “an NBA star forward from 1976-2001…” what? 25 year career

  • LA Huey

    Remember when the Nuggets lost to a limping Jazz squad in the 1st round two years ago? Dantley was at the helm then. Just saying…

  • theDankerNuggets

    i dont think this is silly, it’s gotta be a real slap in the face to the top assistant who was the head coach for last years playoffs to be told to move behind the bench

  • MikeC.

    Dantley says he doesn’t care where he sits, then goes on to say he doesn’t rotate. I’m confused.

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    I’m beginning to just feel bad for Dantley.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    But Dantley is actually a horrible coach… the playoff run when Karl had throat cancer was a disaster because of him

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I would feel worse for him if he could actually coach.

  • bike

    Just for the record, Dantley retired as a player in 1991. Was never considered a good coach because of a rather low basketball I.Q. Probably reason he got fired.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    My dislike of Karl as a coach is known by regulars, and I will say without a doubt, that Karl is a significantly better coach than Dantley. Significantly. Dude was horrible when Karl got cancer. The team imploded because he lacked the ability to lead.

  • Str8inITout

    Nugs sucked in the playoffs, plain & simple. Anyone blaming their first round out on an interim coach should move to NY, find a boyfriend and immediately get married now that it’s legal to do so. Dantley says he didn’t need the exposure of TV so he sat behind the bench. Alot of u call it petty but I think that’s big of him. He’s a HOF’er & ain’t sweating it so he’ll chill in the cut while the other assistant coaches get their tv shine on. But he gets fired first…that’s BS homie

  • x47

    1-Dantley didn’t rotate because he said he didn’t mind the other assistants getting seen so he sat at the back in the “shadows”.

    What im hearing here is that other assistants are hungry to get head coaching spots and wants to be on the bench beside Karl like they have some actual input on what happens in games. Especially now after seeing all these assistant coaches getting head coaching or offered talks for positions.

    2-AD had an 11-8 record as a coach on a team he didnt put together, thats a winning record to me and better than alot of the coaches coaching.

    3. What happened when Karl lost to the Clippers in the playoffs a few years back?? Karl has been to the big dance what 1 time in how many years? And that was with Seattle (Kemp, Payton, Schrempf), he has always had talent but hasn’t put it together wether by dumb trades or rotations or whatever….

  • J-bird

    @The Philosopher- Karl is a known racist? WHAT!? You really think he would be employed by the NBA if he were a known racist, thats just stupid.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^ Donald Sterling.
    Checkmate sir.

  • DieselMechanic

    Why didn’t you rotate dude? If a guy won’t “rotate” ya gotta wonder what else he refuses to do.

  • J-Bird

    Yea, checkmate the NBA is totally racist

  • J-Bird

    Sterling is a part owner of the NBA, he is not employed by the NBA.

  • T-Money

    1- Dantley is a terrible coach. 2- Karl is a terrible coach but not as terrible as Dantley. He’s also a d-ck, by all accounts. 3- TOP ASSISTANT COACHES NEVER ROTATE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Have you ever seen Lawrence Frank behing Boston’s bench? What about Kuester when Mike Brown was coaching the Cavs? Dwayne Casey this year with the Mavs? It’s a complete lack of respect and I totally get why Dantley would refuse to play musical chairs with the rest of the staffers. Now on the other hand, if Karl wanted to fire him, he could have just fired him (the guy is NOT a good coach). There was no need to play silly games.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    JBird
    So what you’re arguing is that Karl would never be employed by the NBA if he was a racist, but Sterling can be a part owner of the NBA and be racist?
    So, by your logic, the NBA could have a racist part owner making decisions about the course of the League, but would never actually employ a racist?
    Do you realize how stupid you sound? Seriously, you made a horrible point, I let you know how horrible your point was. The smart decision would be to move on, and recognize that working for the NBA does not prevent you from being a racist in any way. That’s just horrible logic that you have ZERO proof to back up.
    But, for the record, I am not co-signing Philosopher’s comment because I really don’t know about Karl. I think he’s an a-hole and shady, but I don’t know if he’s racist.

  • J-Bird

    what proof do you have that sterling is racist?

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    J. Bird:
    How many players in the NBA that has played for George Karl during their careers have credibility to you?

  • J-Bird

    And for the record I dont think racism from anyone, owner/coach/player would be tolerated by the NBA.

  • J-Bird

    @the philosopher- So how many current/former players have come out and accused Karl of being racist?

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    @J-Bird:
    You didn’t answer my question.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    J_bird
    So you’re unaware that Donald Sterling settled a federal housing discrimination suit for discriminating on blacks and Latinos at apartments he owns in Los Angeles?
    You’re also unaware of his sordid history of racial comments?
    And, as for accusations, the most famous one was by Elgin Baylor, although he lost his suit in that matter.
    If you have to ask what proof I have of Donald Sterling being racist that tells leads me to question your grasp on the League’s history and its major players.
    Which leads me to believe you’re just typing to see yourself type at this point.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    On November 15, 2005, the Associated Press reported that Sterling had been ordered by U.S. District Judge Dale Fisher to pay $5 million in fees to plaintiff’s attorneys in a case accusing him of trying to drive out non-Korean tenants, particularly blacks and Latinos, at apartments he owned in Los Angeles’ Koreatown neighborhood.[3]

    In February 2009, Sterling was sued by former longtime Clippers executive Elgin Baylor for employment discrimination on the basis of age and race.[4] The lawsuit alleges Sterling told Baylor that he wanted to fill his team with “poor black boys from the South and a white head coach.”[5] The suit alleges that during negotiations for Danny Manning, Sterling said “I’m offering a lot of money for a poor black kid.”[5][6] The suit noted those comments while alleging “the Caucasian head coach was given a four-year, $22-million contract,” but Baylor’s salary had “been frozen at a comparatively paltry $350,000 since 2003.”[4]

    On August 8, 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Sterling for housing discrimination in using race as a factor in filling some of his apartment buildings. The government’s ongoing case alleges Sterling refused to rent to non-Koreans in the Koreatown neighborhood and to African Americans in Beverly Hills.[5] The suit alleges Sterling once said he did not like to rent to Hispanics because they “smoke, drink and just hang around the building,” and that “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.”[5]

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    If you don’t know about Donald Sterling and his racist reputation then don’t involve yourself in these conversations. This stuff, atleast some of it, is pretty common NBA knowledge.

  • J-Bird

    @the philospoher-All of them.
    @AllenP- I really was unaware of all those court cases, except for the Elgin Baylor one. My question now is to Sterlings fellow owners, How are you letting this guy remain an owner?

  • J-Bird

    @The Philosopher- Now you need to answer my question

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    All of them, J-Bird?
    Then, there should be no argument.
    Now, my advice to you (I mean no offense) is to partake in research.
    I’ll even give you a hint.
    Those Milwaukee Bucks teams…

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    I’ll even give you another one;
    David Aldridge had to put George Karl in his place not too long ago. Although, one can gather a plethora of an opinion on that one.
    But, you know.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    George Karl, on Doc Rivers when Rivers was in Orlando “Doc does a great job — and now there’s gonna be four or five more anointments of the young Afro-American coach,” he told the mag. “Which is fine — because I think they have been screwed, deep down inside. They have been screwed. But I have a great assistant coach that can’t even get an interview. So I get pissed off.” From David Aldridge

  • J-Bird

    @the philosopher- I did some google searches for keywords “George Karl” “Racist” “Prejudice”, and the only thing that came up was when Karl accused Mavs fans of having a racist mentality against his black players.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    J-Bird:
    Do some more.
    While doing so, study nbk’s comment @6:10p.m.
    With love.
    With love. lol

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    By the way, how in the living hell does George Karl know what a … “RACIST mentality” is??
    I’m just clowning at this point.

  • J-Bird

    Philo:
    How does nbk’s comment show that he’s racist, he says he was trying to get his black assistant coach a head coaching job.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Again, do the research, my good brother.
    The reason I pointed out nbk’s comment is because, that was what I was referencing when I mentioned how D. Aldridge had to put G. Karl in his place.
    In the meantime, I have to run some errands.
    philosopher.view@gmail.com

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    That was about his white assistant.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    J.Bird:
    You are kind of hitting the nail on the head.
    Karl wanted HIS “Afro-American” to get the top spot.
    Not another guy’s “Afro-American”.
    You know, the old slave trading mentality..

  • J-Bird

    Im thoroughly confused

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    ^^I knew that, you know.
    But, I’m playing with Bird, right now. You know?
    But, the fact that Karl was fighting for his WHITE assistant…

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Terry Stotts is the assistant Karl was talking about.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Yeah.
    GREAT coach in the NBA. (sarcasm)
    6:30p.m. comment was in reference to nbk’s 6:26p.m. comment.
    LOL I’m a clown.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Haha, philosophers, confusing people for fun, since confucious.

  • J-Bird

    Karls comments show that he has great respect for black coaches, and thinks they should, and will get more opportunities to become head coaches. When has Karl shown any racist tendencies, honestly?

  • J-Bird

    Philo you didnt know, you know? lol

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Well if I came in complained about “Afro-Americans” getting “handouts” at my work and getting opportunities other white employees at my work aren’t. I would be deemed atleast prejudice. H*ll if I just started calling all black people “Afro-Americans” I would be viewed as racist by many. So at the least Geroge Karl “was” racially insensitive and ignorant.

  • J-Bird

    nbk- I think ignorant is the word. IMO he is not racist, why would he defend his team against Dallas fans he says were verbally attacking his players based on their being black?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I don’t know George Karl. I doubt as a person who has spent the majority of his life involved in the NBA Karl could still be a racist, if he ever were. I was just showing you where the reputation comes from. Atleast some of it. Ignorant may be the word. His age may just be the only contributing factor as “old views” are inherently racist some of the time (IMO). Words like “Afro-American” show that, but when he says they are getting handouts or whatever, that shows to me he still sees some kind of difference. Whether his feelings are justified is surely a matter of opinion and perspective.

  • J-Bird

    My only problem was that The Philosopher stated that “George Karl is a known racist”, which simply is not true.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Oh that’s Philo’s opinion. You also don’t know exactly what he means by a “racist” – could just be someone that categorizes people as different based on the color of their skin. Wouldn’t get too worked up about any non-basketball related “fact” in this place anyway… That’s a TON of arguing, trust me.

  • piq

    @Allenp wow you really got tangled there. You confused owners with people employed by the league, and then you call J-bird stupid. Don Sterling is an owner and he is in a totally different category from other poor grunts like G. Karl, as he can “afford” himself being arrogant, ignorant and whatnot openly. Others have to take care what they do, say, write, and coach G.K. may and maynot be a racist, but we certainly wont read about it in the papers or online. Remember Timmy H. and backlash that ensued when he burst the bubble of political correctness, as the league of today is only about the image, P.R. and nothing more. Of course there is racism everywhere, it is just a little bit unpleasant for a racist in general to openly and publicly display his ignorance, as the society in general is a bit more determined to deal with it.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    “Players Sam Cassell, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette complained to me that DONALD STERLING would bring women into the locker room after games, while the players were showering, and make comments such as, ‘Look at those beautiful black bodies.’ I brought this to Sterling’s attention, but he continued to bring women into the locker room.”
    That man has some serious f*cking issues…

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    I don’t know if George Karl is racist or not. I had my opinions, but they’ve changed as other comments have come out.
    Just want to correct, that “David Aldridge” article about George Karl was all about how George Karl WASN’T racist, just dumb. So, you know, don’t know why Philo keeps commenting on an article defending George Karl.
    Also, NBK, there’s only one definition of racism. If someone’s using it just to show a person that diferentiates black and white, he’s using it wrong.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Maybe, but that’s like saying there is no such thing as a double meaning beause the definition doesn’t define it as such. Words mean different things to different people, no matter how they are supposed to interpret them. That’s where things like sarcasm, double meanings (that’s sick) come from after all. Plus you (hopefully) understood what I meant anyway.

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    Well, you meant to say the Philosopher may be using the word wrong. There are double means, and there is slang… and then there is using words wrong, haha.
    Philo knows what the word means though, these George Karl rumors have been going around since his Bucks days.

  • iLLwiLL

    You gotta rotate on defense too.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    There’s no question Karl has problems dealing with people – Shawn Kemp, Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony all ended up really resenting his treatment of them by the end of their tenures with those teams. He’s a douchebag and he’s never going to win a ring as a head coach. Mark my words.

  • Groves

    AllenP just destroyed everyone with brilliant logic. gold star

  • J-Bird

    If by ‘destroyed’ you mean, made me aware that Donald Sterling had more than one race related lawsuit filed against him, yes I’ve been destroyed.

  • Yawn

    66 comments later and only one article about George Karl has been brought up. Players have issues with coaches all the time whether they’re black or white, and I know Karl has a history of being an asshole to his players. I’m just trying to see where’s this overwhelming amount of evidence that proves that Karl is a racist.

    @AllenP Working for the NBA doesn’t prevents one from being racist, but Sterling and Karl are in two different positions. Karl could get fired from his job if the players were truly determined to get rid of him because of the fact he’s a racist.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    @Ugh: You nailed it, and let’s add Ray Allen to the list of players he hasn’t been able to get the most out of.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    i’ve always said Karl was a bad coach… bad substitution patterns and barely runs any plays

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If the owners really, really wanted Donald Sterling gone, they could make it happen. If they wanted him sanctioned, it would happen as well, ask Mark Cuban.
    The logic that nobody employed by the NBA could be racist, when it’s obvious that at least one owner in the NBA is a racist is poor logic. Period.
    There is no argument there. How can you argue that a business run, in part, by a racist would be opposed to hiring somebody who is a racist? Where is the logically underpinning for that assertion?
    I can’t believe y’all missed that point so completely.

  • J-Bird

    Who implied that anyone working for the NBA could’nt be racist?
    I said no one employed by the NBA could be a “known” racist, huge difference.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The logic is still bad.
    Donald Sterling is a “known” racist by any fair measure.
    He owns at team in the NBA, which makes him a part owner of the league.
    So, you’re saying that a League with a “known” racist owner could not have a “known” racist employee.
    But, then I’m sure you will quibble about the definition of “known” but oh well. It is what it is.

  • Comedian DFam

    I think thats bogus of G.Karl. he pretty much let A.Dantley dangle in the dirt. I hope coach Karl prays for mercy because “KARMA” for something of this nasty nature can only be punishable by humiliation. A.Dantley hang in there, your time is coming..#TEAMDFAM

    @dfamcomedy on twitter

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