In watching the game last night against the Cavs, it was fascinating (and somewhat disturbing) to watch Karl's on-court relationship and interactions with JR Smith during the game. The two basically do not speak, look at, listen to, encourage or even acknowledge each other's presence during the games. During multiple time outs, Karl would address two or three players (usually Affallo, Carter or Billups) and JR would be on the other far end of the bench staring off into space while Karl hollered and screamed. During games, JR seems to have a specific time - I think 8 minutes in to the 1st Quarter, that he goes into the game, because I never saw Karl tell JR to go into the game, nor did I see the two interact once when he leaves the floor. You take this very visibly odd player-coach behavior, and their passive agressive swipes at each other in the media (even in games JR plays great, Karl makes subtle (and not so subtle) swipes at JR), and this may be the most dysfunctional Key Player-Coach relationship in all of professional sports. I am really not sure how this works if we are after a championship, and with JR struggling, he needs coaching/mentoring that he will listen to right now (I guess that is what Grguric and Chauncey do). I have never seen a key player and coach have such a poor relationship on a winning team. I am a little surprised more isn't made of this, and this may be why I am assuming Karl and/or Smith won't be around next year.
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