George Karl: Don't Judge A Book By Its Controversy

George Karl: Don't Judge A Book By Its Controversy

'Furious George' is much more than just controversial.

Too often, misguided words uttered in a small portion of a piece of work blind us to the central message of the work as a whole. George Karl’s recent book, Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection, everyone in the NBA can agree on one thing: George Karl is wrong, crazy, and possibly bigoted.

In particular, his quote regarding two of his players on the Denver Nuggets: “Kenyon and Carmelo carried two big burdens: all that money, and no father to show them how to act like a man,” has drawn him widespread condemnation across the league, and rightfully so. His conspiracy theories regarding how some playoff series he has coached has also drawn speculation that maybe Karl has actually gone crazy.

However, these examples shouldn’t invalidate everything Karl has to say. As we’ve seen with the rallies and words of our now President Trump, our concentration and focus on condemnation has blinded us to what may have attracted so many voters to him in the first place.

In "Furious George", the keynote that a reader takes away is, yes, the NBA is a business. Karl cites Game 7 of the 1993 Western Conference Finals as an example that the league can be unfair. The game between Karl’s Seattle SuperSonics and the Phoenix Suns, led by Charles Barkley, would decide who would ultimately battle the Chicago Bulls in the Finals. The Suns shot 64 free throws, compared to the Sonics’ 36. Barkley would shoot 22. According to Karl, the most likely conclusion is that the league would benefit more financially from having the league MVP, Barkley, in the finals, as opposed to a team of nobodies that Karl coached. No one can dispute the discrepancy in the number of free throws shot by both teams, and this led me to wonder: does the NBA value the business or the game more?

We can shrug off this case all we want, but the 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, were also horribly officiated series that led to the more superstar-loaded and bigger market teams making the Finals in seven games. As fans, it is our responsibility to not neglect that the NBA’s business interests can sometimes interfere with the game.

In addition, one thing to take away from the book is that the human side to Karl. Seeing the perspective of a coach, I realize that sometimes, as a student-athlete myself, I have unrealistic expectations for my coaches, and don’t understand that their intentions are always in my best interest. While Karl’s book can be seen as a “hit piece” against “divas” in the NBA such as Carmelo, Gary Payton, and DeMarcus Cousins, we don’t see the touching and difficult parts of Karl’s career as a coach.

George Karl starts off one chapter by saying “I coached a game drunk once.” Immediately, I shook my head and judged Karl for this decision. No wonder people are talking so much shit about him, I thought. Is this dude serious? However, he then goes into the details. In Karl’s tenure at Real Madrid in Spain, his star player, Fernando Martin Espina, had died in a car accident in the middle of the 1989 season. After Fernando’s burial, the team went out to a restaurant, drank, and told stories about Fernando, even though they had a game later that night. During the game, the team retired Fernando’s jersey and came back from a 19 point deficit to take a 15 point lead. At the amazing and emotional spectacle, the crowd chanted in Spanish: “Fernando is here! Fernando is here!” I realized then that my rush to judgment was wrong, and felt satisfyingly fooled.

In addition, Karl details two of the most heart-wrenching moments of his life. First, in the spring of 2005, he was diagnosed with cancer. Six months later, his son, Coby Karl, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. “I wondered if I’d done something wrong. Had I contributed some bad DNA? Had it been his nutrition or, somehow mine? I only knew I wanted to snatch away Coby’s cancer and take it myself.” In this emotional part of the book, I couldn’t help but share in George Karl’s pain.

The point of this article is to convey that although offensive and downright hurtful words were written in this book, it shouldn’t disqualify it as a memoir as a whole. For anyone that wants to learn about a coach’s experience in the NBA, the business’s inner dealings, or just the poignant journey of Karl himself, this book is a must-read. As a 65-year-old man who has gone through cancer, we can understand this book as an accomplished coach's attempt to look back and gain insight on his career.

In the words of the Denver Post's Christopher Dempsey: "'Furious George' is controversial, but is much more as well."

Cover Image Credit:

Popular Right Now

12 Things Texans Hate About Oklahoma

We all know Texas is the superior state, but just why do we Texans hate Oklahoma so much?

So, everyone on the planet knows that Texas is indisputably THE BEST state in this glorious country and because of this, we Texans deem every other state inferior. It also may seem that we have a 'rivalry' with Oklahoma (although, it's no contest which state is superior). However, this rivalry is actually more of a disdain and for many good reasons. That being said, here's a list of 12 credible, bona-fide reasons that Texans hate the state of Oklahoma.

1. The Constant Wind

Everyone has heard that the wind is constantly blowing in Oklahoma, but you don’t realize how annoying that is until you live here. You think you walk outside looking good, but the wind is like, “Haha, not today.” Also, it’s not the kind of cool breeze that’s refreshing on a hot day; if it’s cold outside, the wind is freezing cold, if it’s hot outside, the wind is a gust of hot, humid air.

2. No Buc-ee’s

If you haven’t heard of the amazing-ness that is Buc-ee’s, then you are missing out. Buc-ee’s is the most awesome gas station. They have everything, and by that, I mean everything. They even have Comfort Colors tanks with the Buc-ee’s logos, as well as the cleanest gas station bathrooms you’ll find anywhere. Unfortunately, unless you’ve ever driven to south Texas, you’ve possibly never heard of Buc-ee’s, which is a real shame.

3. Narrow Lanes

First off, the roads in Oklahoma are absolutely atrocious. The first grievance on this list is that the lanes are just too small. You think I’m going to be able to fit my dually truck and horse trailer in between these lines? Yeah, I don’t think so, that Prius barely fits.

4. Slow Speed Limits

On the subject of roads, the highways here have an average speed limit of 55. You have to get on a toll road to even have a speed limit of 75. That would not fly in Texas. How do you expect to get anywhere quickly if you have to go 55 mph? That’s child’s play. Texas boasts the highest speed limit in the United States, something we utilize to its full potential.

5. No HEB

HEB, aka the BEST grocery store on the planet, probably in the universe, but I cannot confirm, only has stores in Texas. And even then, the northernmost store is all the way in Burleson. I mean, you can buy Whataburger’s fancy ketchup by the bottle; what more can you ask for?

6. OU

The Red River rivalry is a well-known rivalry between OU (University of Oklahoma- Sooners) and UT (University of Texas- Longhorns). Admittedly, there is a lot of division between Texans on this issue, but if you’re a diehard Texan, then chances are you hate OU simply on principle.

7. Majorly Lacking Major League Sports Teams

As a Texan, we’re used to having our pick of major league sports teams, whether it be football, basketball, or baseball, and trash talking other Texans that root for the rival team is half the fun. All Oklahomans have are the OKC Thunder, and I guess hockey, but who really follows that any way? It’s America, football is king here and baseball is the national pastime.

8. Eternal Road Construction

Road construction is a necessary evil; it’s always going on. However, at least in Texas, you see actual progress. In Oklahoma, roads are cut down to one lane for months on end with no visible progress to be seen.

9. Increased Sales Tax

According to, the combined state and average local sales tax rate for 2015 is 8.77% in Oklahoma compared to 8.05 %. This seems like something really petty to add on to this list, but hey, I don’t want the government any more money than it has to. Also, when you start being an actual adult, Texas is one of seven states that does not charge state income tax.

10. No Coastline

Oklahoma is landlocked. For a Texan, whose home state boasts 367 miles of coastline (the 6th highest in the United States), this is stifling.

11. Mite Infestations

Apparently, this past summer and fall, there was an outbreak of mites that like to bite people. They were worse than mosquito bites and quite frankly, a pain in the butt to deal with. If you walked across any patch of grass, chances were you woke up with an itchy, red sore from this microscopic

12. It’s Just Not Texas

Any Texan can tell you, as we are know for our rather fanatic state pride, that there’s just something about Texas that feels like home. And no matter how many great things a city has to be proud of, nothing will ever replace Texas. Everything’s better in Texas and there’s no denying it.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

11 Of The Hottest NBA Jerseys To Look Out For This Season

A new season is upon us with new fresh threads.


The new NBA season is finally underway and it will definitely not disappoint as the Warriors look to make a three-peat, new faces will star on new teams and of course, we get to see some amazing jerseys teams will be rocking this year. All 30 teams will have some amazing threads, but here are 11 of the hottest we get to look forward to seeing this year.

1. The Utah Jazz Alternates 

2. The Chicago Bulls City edition jerseys

3. Philadelphia 76ers City edition jerseys

4. Miami Heat City edition jerseys

5. LA Lakers Yellow jerseys

6. Milwaukee Bucks black jerseys

7. Portland Trail Blazers Black jerseys

8. Minnesota Timberwolves jerseys

9. Toronto Raptors "The North" Jerseys

10. Atlanta Hawks white jerseys

11. Orlando Magic city edition jerseys

This season is going to be a big one, as we get to watch old faces on new teams. Like LeBron on the Lakers, DeRozan on the Spurs, and Kawhi on the Raptors. It will also be very interesting to see what dope looking new jerseys all 30 NBA teams will be breaking out this season.

Related Content

Facebook Comments