After comments from George Karl in his new memoir surfaced Thursday, describing former Denver Nuggets Carmelo Anthony. J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin as selfish players and questioning the impact that the absence of a father figure played in the development of both Anthony and Martin, players all took their own approach in responding.
Carmelo Anthony, to his credit, elected not to get involved in the controversy.
Carmelo Anthony said "no way" when reporters asked him to discuss comments George Karl made about him in his book.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 22, 2016
Anthony deserves a lot of credit for not getting into the ruckus. There's no win here. Karl clearly is seeking attention in advance of his book's release, and these comments specifically are easy triggers to get Anthony to make headlines. Staying above, and out of it, is the best look possible.
Kenyon Martin elected to go off on Twitter.
Karl describes J.R. Smith as an "AAU baby" along with Anthony and Martin, and says he's "entitled." He also goes after Smith's shot selection and a lack of defense, which Karl also ascribes to directions from Smith's father.
Smith also decided to respond on Twitter, and managed to eviscerate Karl in just eight easy words.
Still trying to be relevant. Sad just sad.— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 22, 2016
Smith and Karl clashed constantly, in part due to Smith's consistent habits of breaking the offense and a proclivity for not taking professionalism seriously. But in time, Smith wound up on the Cavaliers, won an NBA championship, and changed his career narrative, while Karl's legacy has been damaged by his tenure with the Kings and now this controversy.
Either way, it seems few of Karl's former players will be looking to embrace him in the future.