May 8th, 2013: George Karl is named NBA Coach of the Year after guiding the Denver Nuggets to a 57-25 mark, the fourth-best record in the entire league.
June 6th, 2013: Less than a month later, Karl is fired as head coach of the Nuggets.
|Photo by: David Zalubowski|
The 62-year-old out of Pennsylvania began his coaching career as an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs. From there, he bounced around jobs within the CBA, NBA, as well as overseas.
Karl finally became a big name coach when he took over the Seattle SuperSonics. He was with the organization from 1991-1998, leading them to the playoffs every season. In 1996, the Sonics made it all the way to the NBA Finals, where they lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games.
Thanks to a lucrative contract offer, Karl left Seattle for a coaching gig with the Milwaukee Bucks following the '98 season, but the success he had with the Sonics did not continue in Milwaukee. He attempted to rebuild the program, but was fired after four years.
Still, Karl had plenty of teaching left in him, and in 2005, he was named head coach of the Nuggets, taking over from interim coach Michael Cooper. Despite battling prostate, throat and neck cancer, Karl led Denver to the postseason every year he was there, and won division titles in 2006, 2009 and 2010.
So what's next for Karl?
Needless to say, he probably won't be without a job for very long. Almost immediately after being let go by Denver, the Memphis Grizzlies were banging on his door. One would also have to think that teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets, who are in need of a head coach, are sure to be interested.
No matter what happens in George Karl's future, he has already established himself as one of the top coaches in NBA history. He is only the seventh coach to have reached 1,000 career wins, and he has turned multiple teams around for the better.
Simply put, whether it be Memphis, LA, Brooklyn or elsewhere, any team in the league would be lucky to have him at the helm.