When a team from the Association’s bench boss, becomes “NBA Coach Of The Year,” one would think that head coach would be rewarded by his franchise, perhaps with a bonus. To the surprise of many NBA observers, things did not work out that way in Denver, as the “Denver Post” reported the Nuggets announced on Friday, that they have fired veteran bench boss George Karl, weeks after winning the award. Team President Josh Kroenke, informed Karl that the team had decided to part ways with him on Friday morning, after holding the position for eight seasons. The Nuggets ended the regular campaign with a record of 57-25 and Karl finished his stint with a mark of 423-257.
The move leaves the team heading into the off-season without a head coach or General Manager, as former Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri, left the team to join the Toronto Raptors. It is believed that current assistant GM Pete D’Alessandro, may have the inside track to take over for Ujiri. Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, as well as current Memphis Grizzlies bench boss Lionel Hollins, reportedly are on the Nuggets short-list to be their next head coach, joining seemingly every team with a hole to fill on the bench for next season.
While the regular campaign surpassed expectations, once again Denver lost in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, this time to the Golden State Warriors. Although Karl, had a year remaining on his contract, there had been talk that he wanted an extension, however Kroenke wanted to wait to talk about a new pact until next summer.
Karl, most likely will end up as a bench boss for some club starting in the fall, as there has been speculation that the Los Angeles Clippers, as well as the Brooklyn Nets, would be interested in sitting down with the well-traveled head coach. The former coach took to his Twitter Account, after the firing to express his appreciation to the fans. Karl tweeted “I want to thank Nuggets fans for their support over the past 8 yrs. The karma on the street was incredible. Denver will always be home.”