I posted this on another site. Here is my feeling on GK:
I like GK and am personally pulling for him. I like that he is sort of anti-establishment. He is kind of the “Hoosiers” at heart coach – trying to win on the biggest stage in a pure form of basketball. I admire that. Given that – he’s running out of excuses.
I don’t really buy into the argument that if you fire GK, you are a perennial loser for the next 10 years. That’s a straw-man’s argument. For all we know, Kronke could hire the next great coach who could just as easily be a perennial winner but with rings. Every great coach starts out as a rookie coach somewhere. I do believe many of those great coaches are fortunate to have the right mix of players. At the right time and place. Would Phil Jackson have these rings without Michael & Pippen or Kobe & Shaq? What would Popovich be without Duncan, Ginobli and Parker?
Karl has been fortunate to have a front office for the past 10 years committed to winning albeit making mistakes in doing so. While that front office has changed faces a few times and has made some questionable moves (Kenyon Martin contract etc.) they have at least provided him with talent and attempted to improve the roster even if the move backfires.
I’ll credit Karl that he has consistently got his team to perform at a level that gets them into the playoffs. I’ll also credit the front office has consistently provided him talent good enough to get to the playoffs. While Karl has been fortunate to have the talent provided to him, we can’t argue how unfortunate he’s also been down the stretch in these 10 years. He’s had player injuries, bad first round matchups, cancer, and arguably a roster full of mental midgets (Kenyon, Birdman, JR, etc.).
Karl did a solid job once again this year – in fact, arguably his best job as a Denver coach. It was obvious this was a roster he has longed for. While without a so-called superstar, he excelled with a roster full of talent.
However, his downfalls are the same downfalls that have plagued him the past 10 years and are well documented.
-He has a doghouse that is nearly impossible to get out of. It seems once you are in, it takes an injury to get you out.
-He also has favorites that seemingly cannot play themselves into the doghouse. In fact, he trusts his favorites to a fault and seems to have a blind eye.
-If we can see this, the players can too. In fact, I would find discouraging to players and tough to get that extra out of them when needed (motivation).
-I appreciate his realism with the schedule and ebb and flow of the NBA – but sometimes he says things that are a “head scratcher” which seem like an out if his team loses (motivation).
- Considering his handle on the ebb and flow of a regular season, I find it odd that he doesn’t use these “off” nights to get his young guys more experience so they can be counted on later (experience).
- He needs to coach both sides of the ball. Going heavy defense is great and I like the freedom he employs during the season. However to take it to the next level and get a ring, he’s going to have to have to add a bit more structure on offense – including inbounds plays (coaching).
-Sometime his rotations simply make no sense. I often wonder if he’s watching the same game (coaching).
I believe the combination of talent and coaching gets him the regular season wins. However, the flaws listed above are exposed once the playoffs arrive. His team seeming can’t take it to the next level because they haven’t been coached to. In order for his players to reach the next level, Karl will have to lead them there by addressing his flaws first and foremost.
If he can do that, his team will follow and we will see something amazing. I am pulling for him.