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George Karl Clarifies His Comments About Carmelo Anthony's Defense And Why The Denver Nuggets Didn't Win A Championship

melo karl

5 years after his last tenure in the league, George Karl keeps making headlines. The 2013 Coach of the Year award winner never hesitates to share his opinion on anything basketball-related. 

He's been involved in controversies with DeMarcus Cousins on social media, but Boogie isn't even his biggest nemesis. Carmelo Anthony never had the best relationship with Karl. Their animosity is still there years after they took separate ways in the NBA. 

Karl recently criticized Melo over his commitment to win a championship with the Denver Nuggets, saying they would've gotten the title if the future Hall of Famer played defense during those playoff runs. 

Moreover, the 70-year-old joined CBS Sports Radio's "Tiki & Tierney" to discuss his relationship with Anthony and what could have happened with those Nuggets if everybody was on the same page. 

Talking about his criticism of Melo on Twitter, Karl explained that things never get too heated unless he hits a nerve with fans (3:06). 

“90% of the things I write on Twitter are never controversial. The only thing that gets controversial is when you bring up a feeling. Melo was a great player for me. I can't deny that he turned the franchise in Denver around -- it was him more than anybody else. He's a powerful player. But he's an individualist, and he likes to score more than he likes to play defense. My criticism was just to poke the bear a little bit on something that happened eight years ago, and have fun with it. Unfortunately Twitter gets angry and wants to start a battle.”

Addressing his recent comments on Melo's lack of defense, Karl said (3:59): 

“Don't get me wrong, my reaction was, those sleepless nights were about the coaches -- trying to figure out how to motivate Melo, how to motivate Melo to understand that he's good enough to win championships. And in a lot of ways, we failed. A lot of ways Melo was the player he was here in Denver, same player in New York, and same player when he bounced around in Houston. The last 2-3 years Melo’s been great. It’s my interpretation versus what the rest of the world thinks…Maybe I'm wrong for stirring the pot, but in the same sense, I'm telling you how I felt."

He also discussed the Nuggets' real chances to win the championship, saying they were on the right track to aspire to win a title until things fell apart (8:28). 

“I think we were good enough a couple of those years to be a contender. The year that I got sick was our best year to win. The year we lost to the lakers when we made the Chauncey trade, I think if we would’ve been a little more together we would’ve gone on and won the NBA Championship, yes.”

Last but not least, Karl talked about Melo's perception of himself and how he compared to LeBron James. The coach stated that Anthony always wanted to be at the same level as James, but he just couldn't get to that point (11:29). 

“The truth of the matter is I think Melo wanted to be on the same level as Lebron, and liked competing against Lebron. Melo got fired up…I think it was more of Melo understanding he was not on the same level as Lebron.”

This was a revealing interview for Karl. His relationship with Melo was very complex and that led the player to request a trade from the Nuggets at the start of the 2010s. Things haven't improved between these two, and the coach always takes his chances to diss the veteran forward. 

Melo is now in a good position to win his first NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers. Things look very promising for Anthony and the purple and gold in a season that promises to be really exciting.