Former NBA coach George Karl appeared on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike" show on Thursday to discuss his forthcoming book, "Furious George," and all of the headlines it has generated lately. Karl said he was surprised by the negative reaction to his comments about Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith, among others.
"Yeah," Karl said. "There's no question. Surprised. I guess there's no question we all want to be liked a little bit, but the backlash is interesting. And a couple of things, I learned from, I think, too. I think the big thing is a couple things, I probably should have studied. I didn't know, I probably should have studied what I was writing a little bit more than I did."
That last part was a bit vague, but presumably Karl was talking about the section where he wrote that Anthony and Martin "carried two big burdens: all that money and no father to show them how to act like a man." Asked specifically about that, Karl said "the book has a lot of fatherhood in it," referring to the parts about his own father and his son, Coby.
"I said it poorly and I'm sorry that I said it poorly and I'm sorry for the reaction," Karl said. "Because I know Kenyon. The one thing I love about Kenyon Martin: he is a good father."
Karl praised the "superstar mothers" who have raised NBA players as single parents, adding that "sometimes, I think when you take excerpts out of the book, sometimes it becomes not exactly what I said." He went on to say that he wanted his book to be "a bunch of stories that, if you're sitting around in a bar drinking beers and eating chicken wings, what happened?"
Unfortunately for Karl, the way he told his stories has harmed his own reputation, rather than those of the people he criticized. And whether it was because of ego or a simple lack of perspective, he didn't see any of this coming.
"I didn't want it to be what it's turning out, probably, to be," Karl said.