Jeff Hornacek backs Carmelo Anthony amid Karl criticism
Carmelo Anthony was having a rough day on Thursday with criticism from his former coach George Karl making headlines, but at least he has the support of his current coach.
In response to Karl’s criticism of ‘Melo, Hornacek was asked for how it’s been coaching Anthony on the New York Knicks. The first-year Knicks coach called Anthony “great” to deal with.
“Carmelo for us has been great. Whatever happened in the past that guys talk about I know none of that,” Hornacek said Thursday via ESPN’s Ian Begley. “All I can go by is what I’ve seen out of Carmelo here. He’s done everything we’ve asked, and what the coaches want him to do. He’s been a great leader for our team. So that’s it simply for me.”
Karl, who coached Carmelo in Denver for five-plus seasons until Anthony forced his way out with a trade, was critical of ‘Melo in his new book. Karl ripped Anthony for not playing defense and being a true leader of the team. Karl also was critical of Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith, pointing the finger at the upbringing both had. Martin has already responded.
There are a few things to note: Anthony’s reputation as an offensive-oriented player is nothing new, and it’s a shortcoming many analysts point out when evaluating his play. Secondly, ‘Melo was in his early-20s when Karl coached him and has spent his veteran years with the Knicks. Perhaps he’s grown as a player and become more willing to share the spotlight, which would lead Hornacek to have a different opinion of the superstar from Karl.