George Karl couldn’t get enough of the Carmelo Anthony slander as he called the Lakers forward a ‘sh*tty defender and ballhog’.
Carmelo Anthony was already a top scorer in the league during his formative days in the NBA. He was the first rookie to lead a Playoff team in scoring since David Robinson in the 1990 season and was in part responsible for the turnaround the Denver Nuggets had from being a 17-win team the year prior to being a 43-win team in 2004.
The continued success of the Nuggets in the mid to late 2000s however, doesn’t take place without the hiring of head coach George Karl. There was speculation during the time of the hiring that Karl might not mesh with an aspiring team like the Nugs, given his history of quarrelling with his players in the past.
Despite this, for the next near decade, the Denver Nuggets wouldn’t dip below 44 wins in a season. Their best season would be the 2008-09 season where they won 54 games and took the eventual champion Lakers to 6 games in the WCF.
Carmelo Anthony had established himself as a top tier player in the league due to his offensive skillset. His defensive ‘prowess’ on the other hand, was a major work in progress. George Karl clearly was not having it with him on this end of the floor.
George Karl calls out Carmelo Anthony while coaching him and much more after going separate ways.
Carmelo Anthony and George Karl hadn’t really come to blows while on the same team as predicted. Sure, there was several instances that seemed as though they could lead to an all-out verbal sparring sessions. But this never happened.
There were several benchings of Melo that took place in the 4th quarter by Karl and the legendary HC called out his defense a couple times but that’s it. Karl’s real thoughts on the future Knicks superstar came out much later, after he had left the NBA coaching sphere.
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In a book he released in 2016, Karl wrote things like, “Carmelo was a conundrum,”, “no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy,”, and “whose amazing ability to score with the ball made him a star but not a winner.”
He would go on to tweet out that Carmelo Anthony was a sh*tty defender and ballhog in 2021, a whole 10 years after having coached him.
That Melo was a ball hog and shitty defender in Denver
— George Karl (@CoachKarl22) August 11, 2021
Melo hasn’t said anything close to what Karl has said about him and has more or less, kept it classy; at least, in comparison to his former HC.