There is some beef in the NBA community and this time it involves two former head coaches, George Karl and Mark Jackson. Following his departure from the Golden State Warriors, Jackson has been a commentator for ESPN and he seems to be pretty good at it. However, on Thursday night we saw that his comments can get him in trouble, even with other former coaches.
At some point during the Lakers' blowout victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, Jackson praised Carmelo Anthony's defensive work, stating that the "people who killed Carmelo Anthony for his defense in the past, they were wrong."
Of course, this could be aimed at anybody, but Jackson dug deeper and elaborated on his argument.
"OK, I'll tell you this, then there's a shared responsibility for whoever allowed that defense to be played," Jackson said. "Because for some reason, he is bought in with this [Portland] culture. And he's committed to it."
Karl had some bad things about Melo in the past. Jackson didn't name him explicitly, but you can read between lines and you have your answer. George didn't take these comments kindly and he went after Jackson, calling him out on Twitter, taking a big shot at his coaching talents.
Jackson replied by saying he wasn't thinking about Karl, but the damage was already done. Still, he sent a message to Karl that will surely continue this beef.
In his 2017 memoir, Karl talked about Melo's lack of effort on defense, calling him a 'true conundrum.
“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. My ideal — probably every coach’s ideal — is when your best player is also your leader. But since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, he made it plain he couldn’t lead the Nuggets, even though he said he wanted to. Coaching him meant working around his defense and compensating for his attitude.”
Likely, this won't be the last time we hear about these two exchanging jabs.