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.
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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: http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/news/george-karl-comments-book-furious-george-nba-steroids-ped/1vikpmmlzb4gp1tiglr8j8pd4q

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Always Be The Overdressed Person In The Room

You'll make a better impression than being underdressed.

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I recently had jury duty (super exciting, I know) and I was stressing about what to wear. The notice said to wear something "appropriate for an appearance in court" but it also said that comfortable clothing was strongly suggested. I was confused and conflicted by these two sets of instructions, so I asked my family for help.

I had never served jury duty before, so I didn't know what to expect in any sense. I was on spring break from school so I brought home two different pairs of dress pants, two different nice shirts, my blazer, and a pair of black wedges to choose from. I also knew I had one more shirt at home to try out.

I tried on a few different combinations until I ended up with the wedges, fitted dress pants, a tank top, and the blazer. I felt great, I looked great, and I was ready to go.

Sitting in that room for six hours, just looking at everyone made me realize only about ten people were in business professional clothing. A decent amount of people were in business casual, but others were in completely casual clothes. I even saw a guy in Giants sweatpants and hoodie, and I realized that I was overdressed (but still comfortable).

I semi-recently realized that I tend to overdress for occasions. Could be something as simple as going to school or something as big as a celebration or an interview.

As I mentioned in my past article about having thick calves, I wore heels to school a lot in high school and I still do now in college. I love to wear dresses and skirts when it's nice enough to. For Christmas and Easter mass, my family and I wear suits and dresses while other families are in pajamas, sweats, jeans, and t-shirts.

I would always much rather be too dressy than not dressy enough. Heck, I wanted to wear a ballgown to prom (but I didn't). I love dressing up. I'm a very feminine person and I like to reflect that in my clothing style. I know that not everyone is like that and I don't expect you to read this and suddenly dress up every day. And when I say overdressed, I just mean dressier than you need to be.

If you're going somewhere and you're unsure of the dress code, take my advice and always overdress. It beats being underdressed and though you might end up getting looks either way, at least if you are overdressed, you'll have a confidence about you that won't go unnoticed.

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