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FireGeorgeKarl.com Fan/Hate Mail (as of March 9th, 2008)...

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I've been inundated with emails and comments and can't possibly reply to them all. I've tried to gather a sampling of emails and comments that represent the issues many of my readers are bringing up and seem to care about the most. Please note that in some of these emails and comments I have cut out sentences and fixed some spelling and/or grammar errors to make this more reader-friendly. I welcome further feedback, and sincerely thank you all for reading my blog and exhibiting great passion for the Nuggets thus far.

With that said, here is the debut of FireGeorgeKarl.com Fan/Hate Mail. The emails and comments are in italics, with my responses in regular type...

The creator of this site is such a loser. If he ever moves out of his parents’ house or gets a girlfriend maybe he can change from being the douche bag that he is!

-Anonymous commenter


For the record, the girl I’m dating wishes I still lived with my parents so she didn’t have to leave the room when I watch every single Nuggets game.


Just heard about your site via a plug on Deadspin. From what I've read, your complaints are quite similar to mine. I too am a Nuggets fan who is beyond frustrated. Here's my question for you, and it's not meant to challenge you or your site, because I too think that ultimately GK has to go.But is it all on him? At what point is this on the players? Ever notice when we play the Jazz, we get out worked and out toughed the whole game long? I just wonder how much of this is effort. Losing rebounds, boxing out, play defense. Isn't most of that effort?Like I said, I do think GK has to go. But I think it's dysfunctional all around. From poor management decisions, to players not giving their all. Anyways, keep up the good work.

-Chris (location unknown)


I’ve been getting a lot of emails and comments asking if (or in some cases, insisting that) the players and/or management are responsible for the Nuggets problems this year. The simple answer to this conundrum is that yes, there is plenty of blame to go around, and it’s not 100% on George Karl. However, I have to assume that a coach of his stature and pay grade (who allegedly has a good and close relationship with the owner) is intimately involved in every decision made personnel-wise. For example, many publications reported that the Nuggets three-headed GM team of Mark Warkentien, Bret Bearup and Rex Chapman (which in itself is a disaster I’ll be getting into on this blog soon) were ready to pull the trigger on the Ron Artest trade, but Karl was able to shoot it down because he didn’t want another bad character guy on the team. I don't blame Karl for this assertion, by the way.

Moreover, it’s the coach’s job to work with what he’s got. That’s why he makes $3 million per year. As my friend Steven in Los Angeles pointed out to me yesterday, take Don Nelson in Golden State for example. One could argue that the Warriors have several key players with "character" issues - specifically Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson , Chris Webber, Matt Barnes and even Baron Davis, who has rubbed coaches and teammates the wrong way over the years . In addition, none of the current Warriors players have ever shown a passion for defense, but undoubtedly have a passion for winning and love the game. So what has Nellie done? He's changed his coaching philosophy somewhat and allows his players to shoot whenever they want on one condition – the shot must be an open shot. In return, Nellie gets a tremendous effort from his players every night, and if Jackson hadn’t missed eight games this year (in which I think the Warriors went 2-7), they’re probably two or three seeds higher in the playoff race right now. And Baron Davis is no more of a "traditional" point guard than Allen Iverson is. Why Karl doesn’t start A.I. and J.R. Smith in the back court and let them play an up-tempo, guns-blazing Warriors-style offense befuddles me greatly. I don’t think Carmelo would complain about that style of offense, either!


Congratulations on your site. It has kept my attention all night. Mostly, it gives facts, which back up this empty feeling I've had about this team since the season started. In your top sports moments, I would have put "the drive" ahead of the Nuggets playoff win.

-Brad P. in New Jersey


I’m a total schmuck for not putting "the drive" in the list of top sports moments, especially since I was old enough to watch it and went ballistic while it happened (although I’m still not convinced that Rich Karlis made that kick!). I think what’s happened is that Broncos fans like me got spoiled with our back-to-back Super Bowl wins, and sometimes unforgivably overlook John Elway’s three Super Bowl appearances before those victories.

In January of 1997, Elway graced the cover of Sports Illustrated under the header of "John Elway: An Appreciation by Rick Reilly". And yes, I still have a copy of this issue in my possession. In the article, Reilly pointed out that Elway had more wins at that time (126) than any starting quarterback in NFL history, and yet both Joe Montana and Dan Marino played with at least 30 offensive linemen and wide receiver Pro Bowlers over the same time span, compared to just six for Elway. Also mentioned in the article was that within one year after the "Three Amigos" of Vance Johnson, Ricky Nattiel and Mark Jackson left the Broncos, they were all cut by their next teams. And yet Elway went to three Super Bowls!

Of course, by putting Elway on the cover, SI jinxed the Broncos and we lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars at home in the playoffs. I maintain that was the worst day in Denver sports history for a home game. Because while the 2007 World Series and the 2006 AFC Championship were terribly depressing, no one expected those Denver teams to be there.


UNTIL YOU RUN SHANAHAN OUT OF TOWN YOU GOT NO CREDIBILITY RAGGING ON GEORGE KARL, GUTLESS.

-Anonymous commenter

Does anyone besides me see the irony in an "anonymous" commenter calling me gutless?


As a fellow Nuggets die-hard, I am thrilled to see that other fans actually care. You hit on many of my main complaints—complete lack of offensive scheme, abandonment of JR despite the obvious need for a shooter to space the floor, inability to sustain momentum—and I’d like to add one that occurred to me (and not for the first time): inattention to details.

-Crawford F. in Denver



I’ve received tons of emails questioning Coach Karl’s erratic usage of J.R. Smith. I’m not suggesting that coaching J.R. is a cake walk (just ask Byron Scott), but I have to believe with more consistency of minutes we’d get more consistency out of Smith. This kid could be an absolute star if developed properly, and wasn’t thrown under the bus by Karl in the playoffs last year.


Sorry, I love George Karl. He ain’t the problem...the thugs on the court that play horrible team defense and have no discipline and should be fired! What can a coach in the NBA, do these days? He can't tell his players how to play real basketball and defense. Sad state.

-Michael F. in Denver


What can a coach in the NBA do these days? I dunno, ask Gregg Popovich, Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson, Bryon Scott, Rick Adelman, Don Nelson, Avery Johnson, Mike D’Antoni, Nate McMillan, Stan Van Gundy


When was the last time Karl took a T to fire up his team up or even get thrown out of a game? Last night’s game [against Utah] was perfect for that. The officiating was poor and they were losing by a lot, so why not get tossed?

Karl has to know that if the Nuggets don’t get out of the first round this year he is going to be gone, so why not change it up a little and become a hard ass? Call some players out, show some emotion, do something other than suck on the cough drops on the bench. All I’m asking is to show you care. I'm sick of excuses and every team goes through all the same stuff. The only difference is good teams work through it, and the bad teams complain about it.

PS: Why do they [the players] have to be classified as THUGS?


-Shonuff101 (location unknown)

This comment is indicative of a lot of feedback openly questioning where the 2004-05 version of George Karl seemed to disappear to. That George Karl benched players who didn’t commit on defense (including Carmelo) and led the Nuggets to a 32-8 finish down the stretch…a performance that seems to have bought him job security in spite of producing no playoff series wins until now.

And as far as commenters referring to the current Nuggets players as "thugs," I agree that we don’t need to describe our players in that derogatory way and would prefer commenters and emailers to refrain from doing so going forward.


I'm new to your blog (thanks to George's lawyer) so this may have been addressed by you already, but I notice you justify the hatred of George Karl in that he has two All Star scorers and Marcus Camby, yet isn't winning many games.

Now, if you follow the statistical arguments of Wages of Wins (
wagesofwins.com), Allen Iverson is highly overrated, as his shooting percentage is not great, and his rebounding is nonexistent. In fact, they argue his actual production is merely *average*.

Perhaps more blame should be placed on the decision to acquire Allen Iverson, a guy whose total production is, according to some, merely average, but commands a large salary thanks to his scoring totals?


-Jack M. (location unknown)


For my answer to this, please read my public debate with the author of "The Wages of Wins," Professor David J. Berri, on this very issue. In my rebuttal, I question his characterization of Iverson as merely average, as well.


I have been hoping for the last two years that someone would start a "firegeorgekarl" website. It is a travesty that he is allowed to sit there on the bench, sullen and emotionless while the Nuggets watch the playoffs slip out of reach. My only hope is that Stan Kroenke reads this site and listens to the fans. Thanks again for starting the site, you are doing a great service for Nuggets fans worldwide. George must go!!

-Frank M. (location unknown)


I’ve been meaning to launch this site for two years, but bit my tongue because of the suspensions and injuries last year, and the 50-win pace we were on this year (until recently). As proof that I’ve been in the anti-Karl camp for a while, check out the email I sent to the Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla during last season, which Mark published in the Post at that time.


Totally agree about Bzdelik and everything else you have said (except the Larry Brown thing) Keep up the good work, as a fellow Die Hard, I am grateful for you efforts. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!

-Aidan D. (location unknown)


For those who may have missed it, Aidan is referring to my contention that Jeff Bzdelik did the best coaching job in Nuggets history during the 2002-03 season – a season that the Nuggets organization didn’t even acknowledge on their website until I called them out on it on this blog.


It sounds like you are a proponent of winning at any cost, without regard for the behavior or character of the team members. If the Nuggets did acquire Artest, I would hope you would question Nugget management on the role models they are bringing into Denver.You talk about firing him if the team doesn’t get into the playoffs.

If you were a real Nugget fan, you would know that at this point in the season they have the 2nd best record in Nugget history? Why would people want to fire someone with this record? How quickly you forget what a great coach he really is. How quickly you forget how injuries decimated the 06-07 team.You should also realize that he is more to the community than just a coach.

If you check out all the cities where he has coached, he still gives back to the community. He might have left that town, but a piece of him stays and kids that are under served have a better life because of him. How many other coaches can you say that about? You see, after all is said and done, character does count. Missing George Karl in Milwaukee, we would love to have him back!

-Cindy R. in Milwaukee


Unlike my Denver-based emailers and commenters (who support my argument for a coaching change overwhelmingly), my Milwaukee-based emailers seem to be split on Karl. While it’s true that the Bucks have been in total disarray since Karl left, do Bucks fans not remember that it was Karl who advocated shipping a 27-year-old Ray Allen (who was under contract for five more years) out of town for a 34-year-old Gary Payton (who was an impending free agent)? The results were a first-round playoff exit, Payton didn’t re-sign and Karl got the axe. Karl undoubtedly did a great job in Milwaukee for a while, but the team eventually tuned him out (sound familiar?) Oh, and at the time Karl was the highest paid coach in the NBA.

As far as winning at any cost goes – no, I’m not an advocate of that and can’t fault Karl for not wanting Artest in Denver. I also agree that character counts. But as I posted above, does a coach of Karl’s caliber with a good relationship with the owner have no say over personnel decisions? It’s unlikely. But thanks to my emailers and commenters, I’ve heard some, let’s say, "interesting" things about the current Nuggets brass and will be taking them to task once my independent research is completed.

In response to the Nuggets having their best record to date in 20 years my answer is this: just because we’ve been notoriously awful and now we’re a tier above mediocre, doesn’t mean we’re playing up to our ability. And it wasn’t injuries that decimated the 2006-07 team, it was Carmelo Anthony’s suspension caused by Coach Karl’s ego – acting on his friendship with Larry Brown - leaving his starters on the floor to rub a blowout win in the face of Knicks’ coach (and all-time worst guy in NBA history) Isiah Thomas, prompting Thomas to send his goon squad after the Nuggets players and inciting the biggest melee since the brawl in Auburn Hills several years ago.

In regards to Karl being good for the community, let me reiterate that this blog is NOT a personal attack on the coach. And without coming across as a total jerk, I think you’ll agree that just because Karl donates time and/or money to charity, doesn’t mean he can get Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson to run one $% pick and roll this season! Just one!


We, as Nuggets fans, need to stand up and get a petition going. Oh, and that lawyer thing? That's bull----. He can't and won't do a thing to you. Freedom of speech. I think it's pretty obvious George Karl isn't doing the satisfactory job in Denver. FIRE KARL!

-Louis M. in Denver


At some point, I will be drafting a formal letter to Mr. Kroenke on behalf of aggrieved Nuggets fans everywhere and might do a petition, too. I'm just trying to get a better picture of how the Nuggets organization works before doing this. Lest we forget that Denver is the best sports town in America and all we ask of our teams is that the coaches and players care more about the games than we do (like the 2002-03 Nuggets). It’s tough to say that’s been true of Karl and the Nuggets throughout this season.


I was at the [Utah] game and tried to keep an eye on Karl for you. After the Nuggets got down 10 or 11 he looked totally disinterested and said very little in timeouts. He also didn't leave his seat in the 2nd half except to stand up and ignore his players during timeouts. I was really surprised, after the way they played against the Spurs the other night.I went with a friend to the game and told him I've felt for a while like Denver was one of those teams that if you got them down 10 or 15 early, they'd implode. But then after the Spurs game, I wondered if that'd changed. Nope.

-Matt J. in Salt Lake City (
franklayden.blogspot.com)

I live in Phoenix, and am a diehard fan of both teams. I was watching the game last night with the Phoenix feed, and there were 3 separate times where either the color guy or the play-by-play guy made a sarcastic reference to Karl's lack of interaction with the game. "Wow, that might even get Karl up off the bench" for example. This was the PHOENIX commentary crew making those references. Yes, I laughed.

-Rain F. in Phoenix


See, I'm not crazy! I’m glad I’m not the only one noticing Coach Karl’s visibly high level of inactivity this season.


Just finished reading your blog, and I am not so sure that you have the credentials necessary to critique Coach Karl. Your last coaching position was? And your awareness of the NBA Coaching requirements are? And your awareness of who actually hires, fires, replaces, trades players is? And you awareness of how sports agents fit into this picture is? Perhaps it would be smarter to stand down and not continue to show yourself to the world.

-TD (location unknown)


How many movies has Roger Ebert directed or acted in? How many professional coaching stints or NFL touchdown passes has Woody Paige had? How many elected offices have Rush Limbaugh or Maureen Dowd held? More to the point, how many blogs have you launched?


hey man, denver native residing in brooklyn who is THRILLED to finally have an addictive nuggets blog on my hands. i visit you and henry [espn.com's True Hoop] thrice daily to get my nba fix. loving what you're doing. one quick question - seems like you really do need a contingency plan if (if!) george turns this thing around. maybe pick up www.keepgeorgekarl.com or www.lovegeorgekarl.com just to be safe?

-Daniel B. in Brooklyn


As stated in my "welcome column" on my blog's home page, should the Nuggets win a playoff series or (god forbid) two, I will gladly crack an egg on my face, take a picture of it, post it on the homepage and rescind my demand for a coaching change. But I think my eggs are pretty safe right now.


I'm a nuggets fan from China, and I send this email just in order to show my gratitude to you for what you have done. There are many nuggets fans in China who worship AI or MELO, and it has driven us mad that such a team which is full of talents have played so many poor games. We still remember that before the start of this season, MELO said we could get 60W. We still remember that on the first game against Seatle, KMART shouted that we could win the title. But what's happening now? They are just striving for a playoff spot!

All of us are annoyed with GK, but we can do nothing but just complain in our own Chinese forums, which has no effect at all. So I feel overjoyed and grateful that you set up such a blog. I'm sure that after more and more people read your blog, GK would become more and more distrusted and isolated, and it would accelerate the FO's [front office's] determination to fire GK. Anyway, let's look forward to the day when GK is fired.

PS: It's very odd that your website is blocked in China. So we cannot visit your website by normal means but have to by some proxy software.

-Zachary in China


If FireGeorgeKarl.com is blocked in China, this can only mean one thing: Bret Adams has opened an office in Beijing!