George Karl, former coach of the Denver Nuggets, sounded off to the New York Times recently and the interview centered around his former ward in Mile High City, Carmelo Anthony, who is now the franchise player for the New York Knicks.
In the in-depth interview, the 62-year-old mentor turned ESPN basketball analyst criticized Melo for being too selfish sometimes and that the Big Apple star does not have what it takes to be called a “leader”.
“He’s got to have that mental toughness around him for when he gets a little selfish,” said Karl to the NY Times.
“There’s no question that he wants to win and his I.Q. for the game is actually very good. He always wants to think like a coach, but he always doesn’t want to sign the contract with the coach. I think Melo respected me and I think he respects Mike Woodson. But I don’t think Melo understands that coming to work with the best attitude every single day is a precious commodity when you’re the best player. That’s not the same thing as playing hard. That’s bringing the total package, 100 percent focused on all the little things. Those are rare breeds. Kevin Garnett. Michael Jordan. LeBron didn’t always have it, but he has it now.”
Anthony is having another stellar year statistically. He is second in the league in scoring (28.2 points per game) and adds 8.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. However, the Knicks are having an atrocious year. They are 11th in the weak Eastern Conference with just 21 wins in 60 games so far.
Karl also added, in an underhanded slight to his former star in Denver, that Melo needs someone who is a leader beside him.
“That’s why he really needs that player — the point guard or someone who takes on that role — to be the bridge from the coach to him,” shared Karl, who was referring to the time in Denver when they had veteran Chauncey Billups at point guard.
Denver made the Western Conference Finals with the trio of Billiups, Anthony and Karl in 2009.
Is George Karl right? The Knicks are currently on the way to the lottery and it appears Carmelo Anthony can do nothing about it.