George Karl Calls Andre Iguodala Mark Jackson's 'Mole' During 2013 NBA Playoffs

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistNovember 29, 2013

USA Today

The NBA has been anxiously awaiting the day when it could put a face to the inside source Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson claimed to have during last season's opening-round series against the Denver Nuggets.

Well, the basketball world is waiting no more. Former Nuggets coach and current ESPN analyst George Karl is naming names, pointing fingers and doing whatever else an unexpectedly out-of-work coach can do to pass the time.

OK, he's really only giving one name and pointing one finger. But that's all he has to do to solve this puzzle.

"No question," Karl said when asked whether Andre Iguodala was Mark Jackson's "mole" during a revealing interview with Denver sports scribe and radio host Dave Krieger.

Some had already made that leap. Warriors owner Joe Lacob made it pretty easy to follow that path when he told Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle that Iguodala had made his interest in joining the franchise known during the postseason series.

But the supposed hit squad that the Nuggets employed on Golden State's slight sniper Stephen Curry may not have been the dirty tactic that Jackson, and apparently Iguodala, said it was.

"I just think that's media hype," Karl told Krieger. "That series was not a physical series. Everybody wants to be more aggressive with the guy kicking your ass."

Apr 20, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and Denver Nuggets center Kosta Koufos (41) reach for a loose ball during the second half of game one of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the Pepsi Center. The Nugget
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Moving on from an NBA playoff series loss is never easy, particularly an upset as stunning as this one was. The Nuggets won an NBA franchise-best 57 games last season, including 38 of the 41 played on their home floor.

But Golden State dispatched Denver in six games, while handing the Nuggets their biggest home loss of the season (14 points) in the process.

Karl, sounding every bit like a bitter coach with too much time on his hands, still takes issue with the way Jackson handled the series, he told Krieger:

I thought Mark had a lot of tricks in that series that were bush-...I don’t know. I don’t know what they were. Almost high-schoolish. They were beneath the NBA level. And they might have worked. They might have motivated his young team in a good way. You know, he’d announce a starting lineup and start another guy. C’mon, man.

Maybe it's time for someone to give Karl his own "C'mon man."

After all, as NBC Sports' Kurt Helin notes, "It wasn't Jackson or even Iguodala that won that series."

Maybe it was the finality of the series loss that is really grinding Karl's gears. After all, he took home the NBA Coach of the Year award last season before making a surprise appearance in the unemployment line shortly thereafter.

Fair or not, though, that's the hand he was dealt. Life, as they say, moves on.

It's time for Karl to do the same.