George Karl, as it turns out, isn’t as furious as his book suggests.
Karl dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Thursday to issue a mea culpa to the people he offended in “Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection.”
Many critics have gravitated toward the comments Karl made about Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin growing up without fathers.
“I think I’ve apologized numerous times,” Karl said on Gio and Jones. “I wrote that poorly, and I wish I would have gone into more detail on what I was trying to explain. As a coach, we’re always looking how to get a player motivated, how we can lift them up, how we can energize them. I just felt the frustration of how to motivate a guy, at times. We couldn’t find who was giving them the guidance, the support. I’m just amazed (that) we’re giving 19-year-old kids millions of dollars at a very young age and asking them to try to figure out their life. It’s like sending your kid to college and giving them a million-dollar budget. There’s going to be nightmares, there’s going to be problems, there’s going to be frustrations with your career, there’s going to be frustrations with your teammates, there’s going to be frustrations with your coach-player relationship. How you get them through this in a positive, professional, growing way is a challenge of the coaching staff. But I do think I said it poorly in the book. I’m sorry that it created a stir, and I never meant anything personally. But I know they took it pretty seriously, and I’m sorry about that.
“I think all the conversations in the book, we all had confrontations,” Karl continued. “Kenyon, Melo, J.R., we all had our run-ins. We had our disagreements. We had our frustrations with basketball. Did we talk a lot completely and clearly? Probably not. But in the same sense, the great thing about the NBA is you play everyday almost. You got to move on from what happened yesterday. You got to learn and move to what you’re doing tomorrow. You don’t have a week to prepare. You’ve got a marathon race going on here playing basketball games over 30 different cities in America.”
Karl also addressed his criticism of Damian Lillard, a player he has never coached. In December, Karl said that Lillard was “getting too much attention.”
Lillard, 26, is averaging 26.1 points, 6.0 assists and 4.9 rebounds this season, but Portland is 18-26.
“I don’t know what’s going on in Portland,” Karl said. “All I know is I thought they would have a better year. As a coach, when I don’t feel my team is in a good place, I usually pick on my point guard. I don’t know what’s going on, but that was my sociological, philosophical, psychological analysis.”
Overall, Karl regretted some of the things he said in his book.
“There are a lot of things that maybe I could have said better,” he said. “There’s no question about that. I’m not the greatest writer, and I might have said them poorly. But my whole thing is to stir a conversation and make the game better. I don’t want to be a negative influence on the game of basketball because it’s been so good to me.”