The still fiery George Karl is on his way now to basketball immortality, but if he has a chance to go back and redeem something, he said it’ll be with both Ray Allen and Carmelo Anthony.
Karl has an embattled relation with these two basketball greats, and he understands that things would go in ideal directions if he took his efforts and dedication on a serious note.
“Players come in different packages and personalities, it doesn’t take a lot of motivation,” Karl when asked about a former player he wished he coached harder. “The one guy I failed a little bit with, a great player, a Hall of Fame player is Ray Allen. I think Ray Allen is one of the few players that had a better career after me, but most of the players played for years under me and some had their best career seasons under me.
“The other guy would be Melo, I wish I would have had a better connection with Melo. We had a really good team here in Denver and maybe a better team would have put us over the top. Melo and me, the organization, everyone. Melo is a sensational player. Maybe I should have been harder on him for winning a championship rather than just being a good coach.”
While there is no doubt that he is a hall of famer-level in calling shots and plays, the retired mentor still has constructed a controversial reputation throughout his coaching career with that stern, old school mentality – and his past attitude and strained relationship with both Allen and Anthony speaks volume for that.
Despite being the Milwaukee Bucks’ cornerstone in the early 2000s who even led them to the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals, Allen was reportedly being disliked by Karl for unknown reasons. Their complicated bond took a much serious dip when he was finally shipped by the club management to the Seattle SuperSonics in midseason of 2002-03 season for an expiring Gary Payton, who eventually left after a rental of 28 games. Since then, the all-time great shooter has given a frequent cold treatment to his previous times in Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, Anthony currently endures a dramatic beef with Karl even beyond his seven-year stay with the Denver Nuggets. Often being bad-mouthed due to lack of defensive effort and sheer interest to individually occupy the spotlight, Anthony eventually left via trade to go to the New York Knicks in the middle of 2010-2011 campaign.
As he is set to be enshrined this weekend, Karl can only reminisce of the good and unwanted memories he had holding the drawing board from the past. At the end of the day, he might be only hoping to finally reconcile with the two when given a treasured opportunity.