Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Players don't really want a coach to be in the spotlight

As Nuggets coach George Karl enters his third decade as a head coach in the NBA, he acknowledges that "he's not as emotional as he once was during games," but as he told the LA Times this spring, he still loves coaching:

“I’ve mellowed, yes. But I certainly haven’t lost my passion for the game or for winning. Now, players don’t really want a coach to be the one in the spotlight. There was a time when that was important, but I don’t need that anymore.”

He adds: "I don't think anybody enjoys the gym as much as I do."

According to former NBA coach Doug Collins, that passion is critical: "If you're going to coach in the NBA, then you'd better have a tremendous burning in your gut and love what you're doing, otherwise it's just going to beat you down."

The LA Times story shows a different side of Coach Karl, shedding light on his relationship with his kids:

“He’d spend as much time as he could with Coby,” [Rick] Majerus says. “He’d sit around and play cards with Coby and his friends, and then pay off all their losses when the game was over.”

There were soccer games too, and despite not understanding the game, Karl always tried to be there when his children – Coby and daughters Kelci and Kaci – played.

“He dragged me to one,” Majerus says. “Neither of us knew what was going on. Somebody told us we should keep yelling ‘change it.’ So we did, until somebody else came along and told us we should only yell that when our team had the ball.”

Majerus thinks Karl ought to be in line for two honors.

“NBA coach of the year and No. 1 soccer mom,” he says.