Former NBA head coach George Karl criticized his former player Carmelo Anthony, saying in a new book set to be released next month that Anthony was a "true conundrum" who didn't like to play defense and was addicted to the spotlight.
Karl coached Anthony for six seasons during his time with the Denver Nuggets. Anthony spent eight-plus seasons with Denver before being traded to the New York Knicks during the 2010–11 season.
"Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him," Karl wrote in "Furious George," according to a copy obtained by the New York Post. "He was the best offensive player I ever coached. He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight and very unhappy when he had to share it."
Karl, who also coached the Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle Supersonics and Milwaukee Bucks during his career, said that Anthony's commitment to defense was lacking.
"He really lit my fuse with his low demand of himself on defense," Karl said in the book. "He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy. My ideal — probably every coach’s ideal — is when your best player is also your leader. But since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, he made it plain he couldn’t lead the Nuggets, even though he said he wanted to. Coaching him meant working around his defense and compensating for his attitude.”
Karl was also critical of J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin, calling those two along with Anthony, "AAU babies" and "the spoiled brats you see in junior golf and junior tennis."
Karl also said Smith, now with the Cavaliers, had “a huge sense of entitlement, a distracting posse, his eye always on the next contract and some really unbelievable shot selection.’’
– Scooby Axson