Nuggets Part Ways With Coach Karl


From staff reports

Days after seeing their Executive of the Year, general manager Masai Ujiri, depart Denver for the same job with Toronto, the Nuggets have parted ways with their coach as well.

George Karl, who won the NBA’s Coach of the Year Award after guiding Denver to a 57-25 season, has been let go as coach. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news via Twitter:

Karl becomes the first coach since Pat Riley (1989-90) and Dolph Schayes before him (1965-66) to win Coach of the Year and then not return to coach that same team the following season. Additionally, Karl has finished a season 22 times and has been fired twice during a season. He’s made the playoffs (with five different teams) in 21 of those 22 full seasons.

Shortly after the news of Karl’s ouster broke, Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on the team’s recent front-office moves:

As the Heat and Spurs ready for Game 1 of The Finals in Miami, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked about Karl’s departure and had the following to say about the high turnover of late among NBA coaches:

“It’s pretty obvious. It speaks for itself. It’s a pretty volatile job, to be a head coach in the NBA. Nobody makes us do it,” Popovich said. “But if you’ve got a job in the NBA, you know it’s pretty volatile. It’s just a fact: Grass is green and the sky is blue, and that’s the way it is.

“That’s a huge surprise. I don’t know what’s true and what’s not true. That’s the first I’ve heard of [Karl’s dismissal].

“But he’s an all-time great head coach, so I don’t know how you could do much better. But I don’t know the circumstances, so I’m not going to say anything else besides that. ”

Wojnarowski reports that the Nuggets may already have their eye on two high-profile names to fill Karl’s now-vacant seat:


UPDATE, 11:58 a.m. ET: Nuggets confirm parting ways with Karl



  1. HJP says:

    I think that the Nuggets should hire the next head coach to be either Alvin Gentry or Elston Turner. As for George Karl he can go to the Clippers or in Philadelphia.

  2. Damn, too bad-def denver’s loss. Karl is one of the best coaches, i’m sure he’ll be signed quickly somewhere-like within the next few weeks.

  3. Dizdol says:

    Kroenke’s Rule the Roost.
    Make way for Josh . You can bet the Bucks will start flowing now that family is in place
    to make a run at a WCC nest season.
    All things George will be gotten after the fact!!!!
    No matter what happens in the near future GK is the architect of establishing a stable foundation for his
    predecessor. May I suggest Nate McMillian???

  4. shaqtinafool says:

    now we can’t see george karl reachion after javale mcgee dum play

  5. Toronto Raptors says:

    Send him to Toronto. We could really use a good coach!

  6. Zag says:

    I guess this is good news for Lakers, Clippers and Nets

  7. Nate says:

    Wow! I mean just Wow! Coach of the year, guide your team to almost 60 wins without a legit Superstar, and they just let him go? What do you have to do to keep a job around the NBA? Nuggets are looking to attract other high profile coaches? What other high profile coach are they going to attract that has a better resume than Karl? If Adelman doesn’t return for the Wolves coaching position because of family reasons, the Wolves should really consider getting Karl. Things were looking good for the Nuggets, looks like it just took a 360 degree turn.

  8. Big Al says:

    Numerous Round 1 playoff exits, didn’t make the Carmelo-Iverson tandem work, but it still took 9 years before Karl was finally shown the door. Sorry, but it will hardly matter now given that all your superstars are gone. I remember the Nuggets back in 1998 when they were like the Bobcats in overall ranking, and I won’t be surprised if they will gradually go back to that position.

  9. atafj says:

    i hope they get doc rivers, this team will meet okc in the west finals next year if that happens

  10. George says:

    It was time to move on, they were going in circles with him as is his m.o. They need to find a coach that can get them to the next stage cause he wasn’t it.

  11. Bstrate03 says:

    Dumbest thing the Nuggets could have done. They won’t be as good next year now because of it.

  12. Rogelio says:

    Memphis will consider him.. but memphis should really consider upgrading their offensive fire power.. let tyshaun, allen, bayless, dooling, daye, leuer walk.. try getting getting either granger or iggy.. get big back up pg like jose calderon, get 3 point shooter like kyle cover.. and gamble on either corey maggette or deshawn stevenson..

  13. GR says:

    About Time! I Think George Is A Great Regular Season Coach, However, When It Comes Time For The PostSeason His Teams Tend To Fall Apart. It’s Great What He Has Done For The Nuggets But Denver Fans Are Wanting More Than To Just Make The Playoffs. We Actually Would Like To See The Nugs Get Out Of The First Round! I Bid Farewell To George And Good Luck To Him In Everything.

  14. Da_Beaver says:

    hmmmmm…. maybe the next step is to move the Nuggets to Seattle?????

  15. Ty says:

    Lets be real. How is Karl such a great coach? He is a postseason choker! I’ll admit that he’s faced more adversity than most coaches, but he blew the #1 seed in Seattle as well as countless other postseason letdowns. The Nuggets need some fresh blood – some swagger – at the head coaching position, and someone who isn’t so reliant on a fastbreak mentality (I love our alley-oops, but how about some more consistent offensives sets?) I guess when you have Andre Miller and Corey Brewer, it’s harder to run those sets…

  16. Guillermo Lindsay says:

    I believe George Karl did a hell of a job rebuilding this team after Small Forward Carmelo Anthony left. Then won the Coach of the Year award. It’s absurd to hear and see this happening. Whomever, the new coach is, he has big shoes to fill

  17. KnicksTape says:

    Wow…didn’t see this coming. COY and then fired. and Denver thinks they can attract an “elite” coach? So Karl isnt elite? he’s got over a 1000 wins for christ’s sake!

  18. Paul says:

    George Karl was a great coach. However, the Nuggets were continuously ousted early in the playoffs. Yes, I m saddened that he is leaving. But he did have his flaws and the Nuggets need to start winning in the playoffs.

  19. DeBrosh says:

    another one bites the dust !!! Coach Karl will be OK. Denver is going down………

  20. Alaska says:

    The 2012 / 2013 Nuggets accomplished more with less than in all the years of the “Carmelo, JR Smith, etc.” years. George took a team that was short on superstars and made them a contending team. In addition George’s showed that everyone can overcome adversity by beating his battle with cancer. Many people would have taken that as an opportunity to retire. George Karl provides inspiration to us all and for the Denver group to do this shows their character. I feel for the players, but the Nuggets don’t deserve a winning season for a while.

  21. Asim says:

    Not a good move. Probably has to do with $$ but not much better out there except Phil J (to Nuggets, c’mon son) … There are definitely cheaper coaches but it will be very hard to be consistent with Karl leaving. He is a good coach and has a good staff in Denver. Overachieved with that roster and it will be tough for Denver. What would they have done with Karl if he didn’t win championship next year but make it conf finals or something like that? get someone else.
    I don’t see him LA (don’t think CP3 will be able to play for him) but brooklyn is a good option.

  22. 007 says:


    If I an Shaw and I am the nuggets he’s the first call I make.

    1. Clippers – Do not have to deal with being in the Lakers shadow and the ego-maniacs Kia Griffin and Cliff Paul.

    2. Nets – Do not have to deal with the NY media and to be honest that rosters lack enegry and emotion. Good regular season team but come playoff time your going to get outworked. But manager has a blackhole in his pocket.

    3. Nuggets – You can have influence on the choice of GM so you could rebuild the whole staff. GREAT FANS…..GREAT!!! Not from there but love to watch the games b/c always high energy extemely smart fans. The roster has injuries but good young nucleus to grow with. Awesome defensive a team just need a offensive system since they rely on scoring by committee.

    So Faried what you have coming next is the Triangle Offense and a breakout all-star year next season.

  23. Mitra says:

    This is simply a dumd decision to let George Karl go. My goodness!! He is one of the best coaches ever in NBA and transformed a team into such an explosive offensive side.

    My sincere regard to Coach Karl who made me enjoy and get thrilled by the play Nuggest executed night after night in the season.

    I hope to see him coaching a good team in NBA next season, may be Lakers (I agree).


  24. Richard says:

    I have to disagree with most of the posters. Karl has every right to want a contract extension and can leave for other pastures while his pedigree is high, BUT why in the world should Denver give him an extension just because Karl wants one? They have every right to let him coach to the end of his contract. The playoffs are pretty important, and he couldn’t turn regular season success into a playoff series win. So it wasn’t like he did amazing things when it counted most.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Denver also plays in a tough division and conference. when the 1st round matchups are against teams like San Antonio, Lakers, Mavericks, Thunder, grizzlies, etc…. there is not a bad team In the western playoffs. Without a star it doesn’t work in the playoffs as teams can gameplan to take away different people. There is no KD, PArker, Dirk, Kobe, Randolph, etc on the nuggets. They got Lawson and they go as he goes.

  25. Brandon says:

    8 times in 9 years the Nuggets have been knocked out in the 1st round of the playoffs…and his coaching in the playoffs this year was absolutely pathetic (playing Evan Fournier for 5 minutes after he was playing great going into the playoffs and when he was one of the big reasons why we even secured the 3rd seed, keeping Andre Miller in the game at the end of games even after turning the ball over 3 times in a row and taking 2 terrible shots, playing Javale and Kosta 14 minutes in 2 blowouts, etc.). I am a Nuggets fan and I do believe that this was the right move. It doesn’t matter how good a coach can consistently do in the regular season, if he can’t manage to get past the 1st round more than one time in 9 years then there is no point in continuing to keep him around.

  26. That was the most stupidest thing that they could do. Karl is an excellent coach he just won coach of the year. Denver what the hell are you thinking. He wont be unemployed long I bet you that!

  27. Lincoln says:

    Sad move. George has come a long way i hope he can coach somewhere else. Clippers fans have something to wish for. Karl is still one of the best coaches in the league and has overcome sicknesses. If he retires it wouldnt surprise me

  28. CanadaNBA says:

    What do you mean attract an elite coach Denver? George Karl won COY because of what he did for your team. The mere fact that he somehow turned Javale McGee into a somewhat productive player speaks volumes. The beauty of the Nuggets this year was that they were greater than the sum of their parts; that only ever happens because of coaching staff. Their loss will certainly be someone else’s gain, however, what a disrespectful move.

    • JOEL says:

      You have zero concept of what’s gone on with this team in the past 10 years. 10 years in the playoffs and 9 first round exits. He couldn’t win with superstars and he couldn’t win with the “superteam” His teams were the epitome of mediocrity. He is a terrible adjustment maker in crunch time. Essentially the Marty Schottenheimer of the NBA.

      • vs says:

        Denver never had superstars.. He merely had a superstar in Carmelo Anthony. And that’s a big difference.
        And this season Denver didn’t have a superstar at all (unless you see Javale Mcgee plays as a superstar caliber game).
        And even more. You should know that in playoffs Denver played without Gallinari and with injured Faried, And that’s a lot for the team that isn’t that good as you think about it.
        Actually it seems that Denver team was overachieving. And the harsh reality of the next season will show it unfortunately. But it already seems that next season will be called “rebuilding” or something like that. So nobody will do better that Karl for a while

    • sikat says:

      we have a great team in Denver, any coach could have done what G.K did, even better. BE HONEST

      • OKCKD35 says:

        terrible comment, Denver has a few ok players, but their fans tend to overhype their players, like mozgov, gallinari, McGee, etc… I think Faried instead of Nene was a great move though. Nene was soft. George Karl is a great coach. unfortunately in the past few years the entire team changed. however Karl has kept them competitive. They just need a crunch time clutch player.

  29. Lucas says:

    Not very shocked. I think they were doing what is best for George, which is to go to a team like Brooklyn or LA Clippers .

  30. AM says:

    So the curse of the COY award continuos, another coach fired after winning it.

    • El Jefe says:

      Read above – This hasn’t occurred since 1965-66. Karl is the first coach since Dolph Schayes in 1965-66 to win Coach of the Year and then not return to coach that same team the following season.

      • stanfunky says:

        El Jefe, Pat Riley coached the Lakers in 1989-90 and won COY, then left the Lakers and became a broadcaster for 1 year before taking the Knicks job for 1991-92. He wasn’t fired, however.

      • AM says:

        I didn’t say it was just after he won it. I was trying to point out that this is similar at what happened to Mike Brown, or avery johnson, not that this was exactly the same.
        And, read above, last time this happened was to Pat riley in 1990, not to Dolph Schayes

  31. albert says:

    you ever wonder how come teams reach great heights only to fall short next season? ever wonder how come teams do good yet they get dismantled after the run ends? (magic 09, etc?) why do they penalize succesful people like this? specially when most teams are owned by billionares ¿?¿?¿?¿?

  32. Bob says:

    Get Ujiri to hire him in Toronto!

    • Hmmm says:

      Casey is a great coach. No need to knee-jerk for the best name available. Karl is, of course, a fantastic coach and his firing makes no sense and is annoying. Firing a good coach for a good coach who just got fired, just further turns my stomach in regards to the way basketball is, these days.

  33. Mike says:

    Go to the Lakers

  34. Paul says:

    Ridiculous, ran into a team that handed the team from the West in the WCF the only loses they have in the playoffs. Karl is a GREAT coach. Consistent and should be the new #1 guy available now!

  35. Hmmm says:

    Aaaannd down go the Nuggets. What a dumb move! He certainly will not be un-employed for long.