Thursday, June 6th, 2013 at 11:20 am  |  52 responses

George Karl Fired By the Denver Nuggets

NBA coaches often joke that they hate the idea of winning Coach the Year honors, since that usually means doom the following the season. For George Karl, this year’s winner of the COY award, he didn’t have to wait until the 2013-’14 campaign to learn of his fate. According to Yahoo! Sports, the Denver Nuggets have fired Karl because they didn’t want to grant him a contract extension (Karl was unhappy with the departure of GM Masai Ujiri.) The Nuggets have confirmed the shocking move: “Denver has parted ways with coach George Karl, league source says … Karl will not be brought back for the final year of his contract. He was informed this morning. In final year of deal, Karl was pushing for a contract extension, and ownership wasn’t prepared to give it to him, source says … Denver believes it can attract an elite coach with its roster; simply didn’t want to deal with an unhappy Karl in final year of contract.’ [...] “Coach George Karl will not return for the final year of his contract in 2013-14, Denver Nuggets President Josh Kroenke announced today. Hired on Jan. 27, 2005, Karl orchestrated one of the most successful eras in Nuggets history. He guided Denver to nine consecutive playoff appearances and a regular-season record of 423-257. His victories rank second in franchise history to Doug Moe (432). ‘George has been an instrumental part of our success over the past decade, and we appreciate everything he did to keep us among the top teams in the Western Conference,” Kroenke said. “He is a Hall of Fame coach whose legacy in Denver will last for years to come. George is a legend in the game of basketball and I could not have more respect for him as a person and coach.’”

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  • AlbertBarr

    What!? I know they legalized weed in Denver but that doesn’t mean Josh Kroenke has to smoke it all day while making decisions.

  • Kweli_

    wow wow wow

  • Kweli_


  • Redd

    Wow, I see him leaving to Toronto more than likely.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    Then Steve Clifford will be fired tomorrow….Jordan would love to have this guy on the sidelines…This is the big fish he was waiting for….

  • Stepfan Raiford

    Is winning COY like the madden cruse?

  • damageddude

    Brooklyn is hiring ….

  • Mike Eppson

    LA is hiring

  • @iamMrjump

    @stepfanraiford:disqus @disqus_vrnbaWn9hV:disqus for real COY = CURSE…. I am sure he will be at the helm of another franchise before the summer is over

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    What in the world is going on

  • shockexchange

    Owners are under the illusion that an elite coach wants to coach their
    teams. The reality is that most championship coaches don’t build teams –
    they already have championship-caliber talent. Phil Jackson and Pat
    Riley already had elite talent before they won. People forget that San
    Antonio “tanked” in order to draft Tim Duncan #1 overall. They never
    made it to the NBA finals without Duncan. Denver is a good team, but in
    the Shock Exchange’s opinion, a new coach won’t make up for their lack
    of elite talent.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    The Denver Spare Parts know that…they just didnt want to keep an unhappy coach around……..so they agreed to part ways

  • solito

    How dumb of a move is firing a coach with a +.600 record over 7 seasons?! How come nobody let’s him finish the job?!!! Same isht as with the Sonics… Maybe the front office will trade somebody for an overrated alcoholic superstar in the off-season :)

  • speedy

    Attract an elite coach ??
    You had the COY.
    He isn’t the best but right now there are only few coaches that are better.

  • Stepfan Raiford

    Clippers would be a great fit for him, especialy since blake and deandre want to run

  • shockexchange

    It appears the Shock Exchange has just gotten “out-shocked” … as the theme from “Jeopardy” plays ad infinitum. Why didn’t you tell the Shock Exchange this before he wrote that dissertation?

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    You should’ve seen this coming after the departure of Masai.

  • Dfrance

    Its like Avery Johnson winning Coach of the Month back to back months and then getting canned… but times 50!

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    Knowing MJ’s history he won’t capitalize on this.

  • BugEyes

    Nuggets will never win with there current roster, no go to player but if they did ggo far Karl was there man Denver lost one of the league’s best coaches and GM’s that high altitude got the front office big hats tripping

  • Max

    Lol, winning COY means bad luck.

  • The Mauve Avenger

    The Nuggets are a ridiculous organization for this move and will struggle the next decade or so the make it past the first round of the playoffs. Who do you think made that collection of roll players a contender, you goof balls?????

  • bike

    I don’t have any evidence to back this up but Dwight had something to do with this.

  • danpowers

    could have been a knicks front office move. wow…

  • RKJ92

    We JUST got Dwayne Casey that wouldn’t make any sense, not to mention that Casey and Karl are 2 completely different coaches; we don’t need an offensive minded coach in Karl, we hired Casey specifically to improve our defense.

  • spit hot fiyah

    for a team that had great chemistry this is a disaster, if those parts stop meshing well they won’t come close to sniffing the 3 seed next year

  • LakeShow

    AllenP should like this.

    He hates Karl haha.

    It will be interesting to see how this team does. They have allot of talent. With the right coach they could be faux-contenders.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    They were already over achieving. That team is “talented” sure. But they really have had no business winning as much as they have. I think they are going to struggle to even make the playoffs after this.


    so someone(who brought you to 9 consecutive playoff appearances) disagrees with the way you running the team and he gets fired? let’s see where go from here kroenki

  • melvo

    He won’t struggle to find a job, that’s for sure.

    He did really well for the last two years considering that the Nuggets were entirely made of role players and 2nd/3rd tier stars. Even back in the Carmelo days, the Nuggets always performed as expected. They just never had any good pieces to work with; and when they did, there were always teams that were just a little bit better than them.
    This situation kinda sucks, but it’s not completely ridiculous.

  • Redd

    Not really, not with regards to how long Karl was there coupled with the success he brought despite losing Melo & fighting cancer.

    Na wasn’t exactly clear to see.

  • LakeShow

    You might be right.
    As talented as they are. The West is stacked now, with the Warriors, Rockets, and even Timber-Wolves, all possibly even more talented.
    They will probably be more like 7th or 8th seed.

  • Basketball Coach

    well that’s just the way it is, you build the team, you get fired after it, and it sucks. this Nuggets Organization will go downhill after this.


  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I just don’t see how they can be any better than they were this year without a guy they can rely on when the game slows down

  • KingBenjamin

    Probably one of the most head scratching moves in the last 10 years in the NBA.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    What? How does a team lose both COY and EOY RIGHT after winning them?! I heard George Karl was pissed Denver let Ujiri walk, maybe if he wants to join him…. nahh, thinking too much lol.

  • Lloyd

    You’ll be happy in Toronto George! Come through!

  • Redd

    Oh sorry I forgot about that, my bad, thanks.

  • http://www.dzfoot.com/ Matt Harpring’s Haircut

    If we had a legitimate chance at landing George Karl I’d get rid of Dwayne Casey as fast as I could. Don’t get me wrong, I like Casey and I feel that he’s improved the team .. but there’s no debate when you’re talking about a coach like Karl. Plus, he worked with Ujiri in Denver and the article says he was unhappy with his departure, so it’s not crazy to see the two reunited in Toronto.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » George Karl Was Reportedly at Odds With Nuggets Management Prior to Firing

  • Roy Blumenfeld

    Not a smart on Denver’s part. If they were going to fire Karl, they should have done it during the Melo dispute two seasons ago. Within the past 3 years they have lost a Top 10 NBA player, the Executive of the Year, and the Coach of the Year. I hope Denver fans are ready for a rebuilding phase!

  • Kadavour

    Dare i quip, Curse of the Year?

  • BIG ED

    Not shock by this. Thought he should of been fired day after another 1st round L. Karl great regular season coach, but never got it done in playoffs. In his 9 years there Nuggets got out of 1st round just once. If he pulls this act in NYC, Boston, Chicago, LA, or Miami losing in 1st round 8 in 9 years he might not see year 5 or 6.

  • Lloyd

    What Matt said. If you have a shot at a high quality coach like George Karl, you take it. Besides, Dwane Casey may be a good defensive coach, but he’s still got a long ways to go. Some of his rotations were horrendous, and his play calling left a lot to be desired. He could learn a lot from Karl. Not to mention he’s already been an assistant for him in Seattle for 4 seasons. Taking a smaller role behind him would benefit the team and Casey. Not that it’s going to happen.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Memphis Grizzlies Reportedly Contacted George Karl About Coaching Position

  • VC

    How was that a dumb move??? Karl is a good coach in the reg season but a crappy one in the playoffs. He’s lost in the 1st round 8 out of 9 times with Denver !!!! You call that great? Plus he doesn’t let his young players with lots of potential develop like Mcgee or Randolph and Hamilton. He hardly plays them! Karl knew we needed 3pt shooting and the first thing he did is glue JHamilton to the bench who is a good 3ball shooter. That’s dumb. Boo Karl.

  • cflip

    Rich Cho is the gm, Jordan even mentioned in the name change announcement that he didn’t know status of the coaching search being conducted by Cho and the rest of the FO

  • davidR

    randolph sucks man

    EDIT: sorry, i mean he’s very very talented, but he just can’t put it together mentally. there’s a reason he’s been bouncing around the league. his skills say he’s built to play in an uptempo offense, but if you can’t get any burn playing under don nelson, dantoni, and george karl, then there is something obviously wrong

  • davidR

    definitely over achieving. it really didn’t help that they lost gallo right before the playoffs. but yea, denver is going to be stuck for a long time unless they can flip their assets correctly, or get the right higher ups

  • greatD

    randolph is already what he can be. he’s been around for quite sometime now

  • jay jay

    why keep a coach who cant get you out of the first round other than 1 or 2 times aand plays his favorite players (andre miller over andre igoudala) i mean i liked him but seriously he done nothing in the playoffs

  • Andreanglais

    We love to find controversy, and then blow it up, (unfair!) but this seems like a legit, and respectful, move to me. The Nugs bosses obviously want more change; otherwise why let Ujiri go. Attracting a new GM should be easier with an open coaching spot, and the promise that they can fill it any way they want.
    The move is respectful of Coach Karl, in that he will have a line up at his door of teams waiting to hire him; thats what COY does. And he doesn’t have that lame duck epithet to deal with for a full season.