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Lionel Hollins, George Karl, Mark Jackson reportedly candidates to be Nets coach

Lionel HollinsJason Kidd is still the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, but if he ends up in Milwaukee, it sounds like the Nets already have some replacements in mind.

Lionel Hollins (pictured) and George Karl have been described as serious candidates for the job if Kidd leaves/is traded to the Bucks. Mark Jackson has also been named as a coach being considered for the job.

ESPN described Hollins as a “very serious candidate” for the job. They also say Jackson’s name came up and that the Nets are interested in Karl.

USA Today’s Sam Amick reports that Karl and Hollins would be seriously considered for the job but a source downplayed the likelihood of Jackson being seriously considered.

Hollins and Karl would be excellent coaches for the Nets.

Hollins, 60, went 214-201 over four and a half seasons as coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. He led them to the playoffs three times, where they won three playoff series. He was fired after the 2012-2013 season despite helping the team reach the conference finals.

Karl, 63, is one of the best and most respected coaches in the profession. He has a career .599 winning percentage and was recently the coach of the Denver Nuggets for nine seasons. He previously coached the Milwaukee Bucks and before that, the Seattle SuperSonics, whom he led to the NBA Finals in ’95-’96.

Neither Hollins nor Karl coached last season after being fired following the previous season. Jackson was fired after the season despite leading the Warriors to their second straight playoff berth. He reportedly had disagreements with the team’s ownership and management.

Kidd did a nice job with the Nets, but it sure seems like he wants out. Either Karl or Hollins would be great replacements.

George Karl thinks Andre Iguodala told Warriors about Nuggets’ dirty plans

George Karl NuggetsGeorge Karl said in a recent interview that he believes Andre Iguodala was the “mole” who told Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson about the Denver Nuggets’ plans to play dirty during the playoff series between the teams last season.

The Warriors beat the Nuggets in six games in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs last season. It was a tough series, and you may recall that the series was extremely physical. Jackson even accused the Nuggets of sending “hitmen” after his star player, Stephen Curry, in an effort to injure the sharpshooting guard. Jackson said at the time that he had an inside source from the Nuggets who told him that was the case.

“I’ve got inside information that some people don’t like that brand of basketball, and they clearly didn’t co-sign it so they wanted to let me know that they had no parts in what was taking place,” Jackson said after Game 5.

Iguodala signed with the Warriors in the offseason, which is one of the reasons Karl believes Iguodala was the “mole.”

Here’s what Dave Krieger wrote about his interview with Karl:

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Denver Nuggets fire George Karl; Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson are baffled

George-Karl-NuggetsThe Denver Nuggets made a shocking move on Thursday when they fired head coach George Karl. The 62-year old coach had been with the team since 2005. What really made the move puzzling is that Karl was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year for the 2012-2013 season back in May.

Karl took the Nuggets to the postseason every year in his eight seasons with the team, though they did lose in the first round of the playoffs the past four seasons. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the issue had to do with Karl’s contract situation more than the team’s play on the court.

Karl was entering the last season of his deal with Denver, which is a situation that has made him uncomfortable throughout his career. Rather than coaching the team under a one-year contract, Karl was likely going to pursue an extension during the offseason. Apparently the Nuggets were not comfortable giving him one and decided it was time to part ways.

At least two players who are currently on the Denver roster, Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson, were left scratching their heads after the move.

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George Karl on JaVale McGee: ‘Lazy and crazy isn’t going to make it work’

JaVale-McGee-NuggetsWashington Wizards fans can tell you that watching JaVale McGee on a nightly basis can be incredibly frustrating. The 25-year-old center has amazing potential, but he makes far too many bone-headed mistakes like this that cost his team. Now, he is a Denver Nugget. And from the sound of it, George Karl is already frustrated with his big man.

“He’s got to understand that lazy and crazy isn’t going to make it work,” Karl told the Denver Post. “We want solid and we want fundamental, and we want spectacular but only when it happens, not forcing the action where sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.”

McGee is a lot of things, but solid and fundamental aren’t two of them. Denver signed him to a generous four-year, $44 million deal last year and at the moment he is coming off the bench. As highlight-reel blocks like this remind us, McGee is one of the most athletic seven-footers in the NBA. There’s a reason Hakeem Olajuwon said JaVale should be dominating the NBA.

But, he’s not. Instead, McGee rotates between SportsCenter’s “Top 10″ and “Not Top 10.” He’s averaging around 10 points per game this season, which is consistent with where he has been for most of his career. McGee could be considered a major underachiever given his skill level, or he could just not have the intangibles a player needs to dominate the NBA as a big man and a post presence. The more games that go by, the more likely it is that the latter is true.

George Karl: Carmelo Anthony is going to win a championship someday

George Karl has not had many good things to say about Carmelo Anthony since the Denver Nuggets traded him to the New York Knicks two seasons ago. Many have painted Carmelo as a selfish player who is unwilling to buy into the team mentality, and Karl has done nothing to change that perception. However, the Nuggets coach recently praised Anthony for changing his game.

“I’ve said I feel that Carmelo is going to win a championship someday,” Karl told the New York Times. “He’s going to figure out that the numbers and the stats sheets aren’t important. It’s the scoreboard and the intangibles that make winners champions.”

Of course, Karl’s latest comments come on the heels of a 15-5 start from the Knicks that has them looking like one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. New York has not lost a game at home and — perhaps most surprisingly — has played tremendous defense throughout the first 15 games of the season. As for the talk about ‘Melo being selfish, Karl says he would say that about any player he coached during their early years.

“I can say that about everybody I’ve coached, except Chauncey Billups or Nate McMillan, in my career,” Karl said. “I can say that about Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp and a lot of great young guys.”

Last season, Karl said he wanted to beat the Knicks badly and that he got sick of all the Anthony talk when he coached him. He obviously changed his tune a bit prior to his team’s loss to New York on Sunday night. Personally, I feel that Karl’s past criticism of ‘Melo has been warranted. If he can learn to share the ball more and be a consistent defender, the Knicks will be a dangerous team for the long haul.

George Karl: I just despise the Lakers

A lot of coaches genuinely dislike their rivals, but many of them would never come out and tell you that. The politically correct things to say are “they’re a tough team” and “they’re always prepared and well-coached,” but we know enough by now to know that George Karl is anything but politically correct. The Nuggets coach is not a fan of the Lakers, and he is not afraid to admit that.

“I can’t deny that I just despise the Lakers,” Karl said Monday according to the Denver Post. “There’s a bigger (description) for it (that I can’t use in public). I’ve been beaten by them too many times. I didn’t expect them to be bad this season, but when they got Steve Nash, I can’t deny I was really upset.”

Karl also added that he sent a text message to Lakers executive Mitch Kupchak telling him he believes he keeps a rabbit’s foot up his — well, you know.

Last season, the Nuggets took L.A. to seven games in the postseason before Kobe Bryant and company prevailed. That was the third time in five years the Lakers have ousted Denver in the playoffs, so you can see where Karl would develop his disdain for the perennial powerhouse. If all goes to plan this season at the Staples Center, he may hate the new-look Lakers more than he ever has.

H/T Game On!

George Karl says Andrew Bynum played illegal defense for his 10 blocks

After being completely dominated by Andrew Bynum and the Lakers on Sunday afternoon, Nuggets coach George Karl was understandably frustrated. His team had just lost Game 1 by a score of 103-88, and Bynum tied a playoff record by blocking 10 shots. According to Karl, however, the Lakers center did so illegally.

“(Bynum) was playing nice illegal defense,” Karl said in his postgame press conference according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. “He zoned up good. I think we got one illegal defense (called against the Lakers). I saw about 30.”

Bynum was indeed called for a defensive three-second violation late in the third quarter, but that was it. As long as the defensive player is “actively guarding” an opponent — or within an arm’s length of them — it is technically not illegal defense. Karl complained to the officials several times but failed to change their minds.

“It just isn’t going to be called,” Karl continued. “We know it’s not going to be called. It’s just not a thing that’s called. We play too fast sometimes and we don’t let the call happen and then other times, the action creates the vision of the referees. (Bynum) was sensational defensively. Pau Gasol was good out front and they did a great job protecting the basket.”

Karl later added that the Nuggets would not have won even if the call was made more, and hes right. The Lakers blocked 15 shots as a team, and it’s unlikely the officials missed 15 illegal defense calls. Denver has to find a way to overcome L.A.’s size if they want to hang around in the series.

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE