Coach George Karl Fired By Denver Nuggets

By Connor Paden

After nine seasons in Denver, George Karl has been fired by the Nuggets after losing in the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

Karl accumulated 423 victories in Denver, including a .599 winning percentage. Denver won 57 games this season and earned the third seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, but were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in the first round.  It was the eighth time in Karl’s nine playoff appearances that the Nuggets had been ousted in the first round. Karl won Coach of the Year this season while his Nuggets finished with a NBA best 38-3 home record. The Nuggets had the third youngest roster in the league this season.

Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri left Denver to join the front office of the Toronto Raptors. Ujiri will not consider Karl for the Toronto coaching job, league sources said.

In an off season with many head coach openings, Karl has already drawn interest from a number of organizations including the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, and Brooklyn Nets. Karl is very intrigued by the Clippers opening according to two sources close to the coach. The Grizzlies are still deciding on whether or not to keep head coach Lionel Hollins, but plan on discussing the job with Karl now that he is available.

Sources say that the Nuggets now have interest in pursuing Hollins if he should become available. The Grizzlies and Nuggets would in a sense be trading coaches. Hollins led Memphis this season to 56 wins and the first conference finals birth in franchise history. Sources say Memphis assistant coach Dave Joerger and Karl are on top of the Grizzlies list.

Karl is 1,131-756 in 25 seasons as a NBA head coach. He won three division titles in Denver but only a 21-39 record in the playoffs. His 21 straight non-losing seasons tie Phil Jackson for the longest streak in NBA history.