George Karl coached Carmelo Anthony on the Denver Nuggets from 2005 to Feb. of 2011. When the Nuggets traded Anthony to the New York Knicks, Karl said it “is a sweet release for the coach and the team, like popping a blister.”
That was just the beginning of Karl’s shade toward Anthony. The former Nuggets head coach said Anthony’s upbringing without a father created maturity issues in Denver. He said this line in his book titled “Furious George,” which came out in 2016.
In his book, Karl called Anthony a “true conundrum” and said the future Hall of Famer wasn’t a leader because of his lack of effort on defense.
However, fast-forward to today and Karl has changed his tune on Anthony after some years of perspective. The 68-year-old said Anthony was the best offensive player he ever coached and wished he had done more to help Melo become a championship player:
Melo was the best offensive player I ever coached. Looking back, I wish I had done a better job of helping him become a championship player. https://t.co/bs3JvvzxH6 pic.twitter.com/TSI2I6vpC5
— George Karl (@CoachKarl22) March 20, 2020
Carmelo Anthony appeared in 564 games with the Nuggets after being the third overall pick in the 2003 Draft. He finished his Denver career with averages of 24.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
Melo was a four-time All-Star with the Nuggets and is the third leading scorer in franchise history, trailing only Alex English and Dan Issel.
Anthony led the Nuggets to the 2009 Western Conference Finals, where Denver lost to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s the farthest the team and Anthony have gone since then, as Melo hasn’t gotten past the second round of the playoffs since getting traded by Denver.