George Karl's tenure with the Sacramento Kings wastumultuous as he clashed with DeMarcus Cousins and management. Sacramento moved on from Karl this past offseason and he used the time to finish a memoir, phenomenally titled "Furious George."
But similar to his time with the Kings, the book at times is Karl sounding off on what and who he didn't like during his 40-plus years in the NBA. And one of Karl's main targets is Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony, then with the Nuggets, and who played for Karl from Jan. 2005 to Feb, 2011 when he requested a trade to New York.
"Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him," Karl wrote via an advance copy obtained by CBS Sports. "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.
"He really lit my fuse with his low demand of himself on defense. He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy."
Calling Anthony a "user of people" is pretty defamatory, yet his criticism of the All-Star's defense is nothing new. Anthony's defense, especially when he played for the Nuggets, was always seen as a negative.
"I want as much effort on defense -- maybe more -- as on offense," Karl wrote about Anthony. "That was never going to happen with Melo, whose amazing ability to score with the ball made him a star but didn't make him a winner. Which I pointed out to him. Which he didn't like."
The Nuggets were one of the better teams in the West under Karl and with Anthony as the team's star. They were a perennial playoff team, won 50-plus games in the regular season three times and made it to the Western Conference Finals in 2009. However, by the time when Anthony demanded a trade, Karl writes that he grew tired of trying to figure out the All-Star forward.
"The volume of questions about Carmelo eventually wore me down." Karl wrote. "Sometimes I got so sick of talking about him that I'd just throw up my hands and say: 'I don't know what he is and I don't care.' "
When the Nuggets traded Anthony to the Knicks, it was a great relief for Karl or as he wrote, "a sweet release for the coach and the team, like popping a blister."
Disagreements between coach and superstars is an oft-occurring trope in the league. Phil Jackson didn't always see eye-to-eye with Kobe Bryant and much like Karl, he criticized the Black Mamba in his memoir, "The Last Season." Karl seems to be taking a page from Jackson, which will sell books. George also had some misguided comments regarding Anthony, J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin in "Furious George."
"Kenyon and Carmelo carried two big burdens: all that money and no father to show them how to act like a man," Karl wrote.
And on Smith, Karl wrote that the now Cavs guard had "a huge sense of entitlement, a distracting posse, his eye always on the next contract and some really unbelievable shot selection."
Karl does sounds like a bit of a grump (especially the "posse" comment, a similar take got Phil Jackson in hot water with LeBron James) but as ESPN's Kevin Pelton points out, context is important and the coach does that, albeit in an ill-advised way: