Karl describes his former player as a “true conundrum” and a “user of people,” among with his unwillingness to play defense and lack of pride in being a two-way player.
“Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him,” Karl wrote in the book, a copy of which was obtained by Newsday. “He was the best offensive player I ever coached. He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight, and very unhappy when he had to share it.
“He really lit my fuse with his low demand for himself on defense. He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy. My ideal – probably every coach’s ideal – is when your best player also is your leader. But since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, he made it plain and simple he couldn’t lead the Nuggets, even though he said he wanted to. Coaching him meant working around his defense and compensating for his attitude.”
The 65-year-old former coach was also critical of former players J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin, saying Smith had a “huge sense of entitlement, a distracting posse, his eye always on his next contract and some really unbelievable shot selection” — thing he’s now praised for in various broadcast commentaries.
Karl coached Anthony from 2005 until Anthony forced his trade to the Knicks in February of 2011. The tenured NBA coach said he didn’t think Anthony “cared enough about being a good teammate,” going as far as saying “getting rid of Carmelo Anthony was a sweet release for the coach and the team, like popping a blister,” and that the Nuggets “won the trade, definitely.”
Once Anthony was moved to the opposite coast, Karl said the “ball rarely stopped for an isolation play.” Jackson’s comments about his star forward Anthony were very similar in content. Anthony has yet to be asked about the book.
“He and I had a little conflict bubbling,” Karl wrote. “I want as much effort on defense – maybe more – as on offense. That was never going to happen with Melo, whose amazing ability to score with the ball made him a star but didn’t make him a winner. Which I pointed out to him. Which he didn’t like.”
Something tells us Melo will have a thing or two to say about this book once it gets back to him.