George Karl (center)
May 12, 1951 |
Penn Hills, Pennsylvania
|Listed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Listed weight||185 lb (84 kg)|
|High school||Penn Hills
(Penn Hills, Pennsylvania)
|College||North Carolina (1970–1973)|
|NBA Draft||1973 / Round: 4 / Pick: 66th overall|
|Selected by the New York Knicks|
|1973–1976||San Antonio Spurs (ABA)|
|1977–1978||San Antonio Spurs|
|1980–1983||Montana Golden Nuggets|
|1986–1988||Golden State Warriors|
|1989–1990||Real Madrid (Spain)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career ABA/NBA statistics|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
George Matthew Karl (born May 12, 1951) is a former National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association player. He is the current head coach of the Denver Nuggets. On December 10, 2010 he became the seventh coach in NBA history to record 1,000 wins.
Karl was born in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania. After a college career at the University of North Carolina he signed with the ABA's San Antonio Spurs in 1973. When the Spurs joined the NBA in 1976, Karl began his two-year NBA playing career.
Early coaching career 
After his playing career, Karl became an assistant coach for the Spurs. Karl then moved on to the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) as head coach of the Montana Golden Nuggets (Great Falls). As coach of the Golden Nuggets, Karl won CBA Coach of the Year twice, in 1981 and 1983.
In 1984, Karl became the head coach of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, taking them to the playoffs in 1985. He was dismissed by the Cavs in 1986 near the end of the season.
In the 1986–87 season Karl coached the Golden State Warriors and took them from a record of 30–52 the year before, to the playoffs for the first time in ten years. They reached the semifinals against the Magic Johnson led Los Angeles Lakers, Game 4 of which is still shown on TV in the NBA's Greatest Games series. Sleepy Floyd hit 12 straight field goals in the fourth quarter that gave him two still standing NBA playoff records (29 points in a quarter, 39 in a half) and finished with 51 points in Golden State's 129–121 win.
Karl resigned from the Warriors with 18 games left in the 1987–88 campaign due to the frustration of losing when 3 of his top 4 per game scorers from the 1987 playoff team, including Sleepy Floyd, had been traded, and the fourth went through alcohol rehabilitation and missed over a month.
In 1990–91 Karl was back in the CBA with the Patroons where their 50–6 season, and astoundingly winning all 28 home games, won coach Karl CBA coach of the year for the third time.
Karl returned to the NBA as coach of the Seattle SuperSonics from 1991–98, leading them to the NBA Finals in 1996 where they lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games. In all seven of his seasons in Seattle, the team made the postseason, winning three division titles, and eclipsing the 50-win mark in every year that he was coach for a full season.
Milwaukee and FIBA 
In 1998, Karl moved to the Milwaukee Bucks as head coach, lured by a particularly lucrative contract offer. He helped rebuild a struggling organization in his first three years, steadily increasing win totals, and guiding the team within one game of the NBA Finals in 2001. However, his club collapsed down the stretch in 2002, falling from the number one seed in the Eastern Conference in January to ninth place disqualification in mid-April. Bucks management fired Karl after another underachieving season in 2003, which saw the club make the playoffs with a win total just above the .500 mark.
Denver Nuggets 
He returned to the NBA in 2005 when he became head coach of the Nuggets, taking over from interim head coach Michael Cooper on January 27 and leading the team to the postseason. On July 27, 2005 the Nuggets announced that Karl had prostate cancer. Karl enjoyed a resurrection of his career with the Nuggets, guiding them to an unprecedented 32–8 record in the second half of the 2004–05 season.
On December 28, 2006, Karl became just the 12th coach in NBA history to reach 800 wins when the Nuggets defeated the SuperSonics 112–98.
On December 31, 2008, Karl reached 900 coaching career wins with the Nuggets as they beat the Toronto Raptors 114–107.
During the 2008–09 season, the Nuggets, led by Karl, Carmelo Anthony, and the newly acquired Chauncey Billups tied a franchise-best 54 wins and entered the playoffs as the Western Conference's #2 seed. On April 27, 2009, the Nuggets handed the Hornets a 58-point loss during Game 4 of their first round playoff series. This tied the biggest margin in NBA playoff history The Nuggets beat the Mavericks in 5 games during the semifinals, then went on to lose to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games, losing Game 6 by 27.
Karl coached the Western Conference All-Stars at the 2010 NBA All-Star Game on February 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This was his fourth selection, and his first since leaving Seattle.
After the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, it was revealed in a press conference that Karl was diagnosed with treatable neck and throat cancer. He was placed on leave of absence from the Nuggets while being treated. Assistant coach Adrian Dantley filled in as acting head coach for the rest of the season, and the team finished poorly, and went from the second to fourth seed. Although Karl was not ruled out of coaching the second round, the Nuggets were eliminated by the Utah Jazz in 6 games.
He has since recovered from cancer and coached every game of the 2010–11 season, becoming the seventh NBA coach to record 1,000 career wins on December 10, 2010.
Having acquired Andre Iguodala in the offseason, many sports analysts listed the Denver Nuggets as contenders for the playoffs. The Nuggets ended as the third seed with the third best record in the Western Conference and the best home record in the league for the 2012–13 season. In the first round, they faced the sixth seed Golden State Warriors and won their first home game. After they lost the next three, Karl led them to another home win in Game 5, but the team eventually lost in Game 6. The series ended with the Nuggets losing 2–4.
On May 8, 2013, Karl was awarded his first NBA Coach of the Year award.
Karl's son, Coby, played as a starting point guard for Boise State University, and has since played in the NBA and other leagues. Coby Karl is a thyroid cancer survivor. Karl also has two daughters, Kelci and Kaci.
NBA coaching record 
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win-loss %|
|Post season||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win-loss %|
|CLE||1984–85||82||36||46||.439||4th in Central||4||1||3||.250||Lost in First Round|
|GSW||1986–87||82||42||40||.512||3rd in Pacific||10||4||6||.400||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|SEA||1991–92||42||27||15||.643||4th in Pacific||9||4||5||.444||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|SEA||1992–93||82||55||27||.671||2nd in Pacific||19||10||9||.526||Lost in Conf. Finals|
|SEA||1993–94||82||63||19||.768||1st in Pacific||5||2||3||.400||Lost in First Round|
|SEA||1994–95||82||57||25||.695||2nd in Pacific||4||1||3||.250||Lost in First Round|
|SEA||1995–96||82||64||18||.780||1st in Pacific||21||13||8||.619||Lost in NBA Finals|
|SEA||1996–97||82||57||25||.695||1st in Pacific||12||6||6||.500||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|SEA||1997–98||82||61||21||.744||T-1st in Pacific||10||4||6||.400||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|MIL||1998–99||50||28||22||.560||4th in Central||3||0||3||.000||Lost in First Round|
|MIL||1999–00||82||42||40||.512||5th in Central||5||2||3||.400||Lost in First Round|
|MIL||2000–01||82||52||30||.634||1st in Central||18||10||8||.556||Lost in Conf. Finals|
|MIL||2001–02||82||41||41||.500||5th in Central||—||—||—||—||Missed NBA Playoffs|
|MIL||2002–03||82||42||40||.512||4th in Central||6||2||4||.333||Lost in First Round|
|DEN||2004–05||40||32||8||.800||2nd in Northwest||5||1||4||.200||Lost in First Round|
|DEN||2005–06||82||44||38||.537||1st in Northwest||5||1||4||.200||Lost in First Round|
|DEN||2006–07||82||45||37||.549||2nd in Northwest||5||1||4||.200||Lost in First Round|
|DEN||2007–08||82||50||32||.610||2nd in Northwest||4||0||4||.000||Lost in First Round|
|DEN||2008–09||82||54||28||.659||1st in Northwest||16||10||6||.625||Lost in Conf. Finals|
|DEN||2009–10||82||53||29||.646||1st in Northwest||6||2||4||.333||Lost in First Round|
|DEN||2010–11||82||50||32||.610||2nd in Northwest||5||1||4||.200||Lost in First Round|
|DEN||2011–12||66||38||28||.576||2nd in Northwest||7||3||4||.429||Lost in First Round|
|DEN||2012–13||82||57||25||.695||2nd in Northwest||6||2||4||.333||Lost in First Round|
- Ellensburg Daily Record – Google News Archive Search
- 1987–88 Golden State Warriors Roster and Stats | Basketball-Reference.com
- George Karl | The Official Site Of The Denver Nuggets
- History of the Albany Patroons
- 2002 USA Basketball
- Game 4 Recap
- 2009 Western Conf. Finals Recap
- NBA.com: Nuggets' Karl to coach West in 2010 All-Star Game
- NBA.com: Nuggets coach Karl to miss time after cancer resurfaces
- 2010 Utah Series Recap
- Nuggets' Karl nabs his first NBA Coach of Year award
- Coby Karl stands out at charity event
- George Karl. NBA.com coaching profile.
- Jude, St. (2012-03-05). "Coach George Karl". St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-03-05.