“Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him,” Karl wrote, via the New York Post. “He was the best offensive player I ever coached. … He really lit my fuse with his low demand of himself on defense. He had no commitment to the hard, dirty work of stopping the other guy. …
“Since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, he made it plain he couldn’t lead the Nuggets, even though he said he wanted to. Coaching him meant working around his defense and compensating for his attitude.”
Karl added that he believes Anthony could have become “the best defender at his position in the NBA.”
“That was never going to happen with Melo,” Karl said, “whose amazing ability to score with the ball made him a star but didn’t make him a winner.”
Karl also criticized retired Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin and former Nuggets guard J.R. Smith, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, along with Anthony, calling the trio “AAU babies” and like “spoiled brats.”
Smith had “a huge sense of entitlement, a distracting posse, his eye always on the next contract and some really unbelievable shot selection,” Karl wrote. Karl shared his disappointment that he could not help “a clearly talented player” in Smith advance his game.
Part of Anthony’s and Martin’s immaturity stemmed from the absence of their fathers in their lives, Karl claimed.
“Kenyon and Carmelo carried two big burdens: all that money and no father to show them how to act like a man,” he wrote.
Karl spent 27 seasons on NBA sidelines coaching the Nuggets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings.
His most recent stint was a failed two-year stop in Sacramento from 2014-16, with the Kings going 44-68. Karl owns a lifetime 1,175-824 record as a head coach with 22 playoff appearances, including a losing trip to the NBA Finals in 1995-96 with Seattle.
Karl ranks fifth all-time on the NBA’s coaching victories list.