The Sacramento Kings fired George Karl after the 2015-16 season following two years of lackluster basketball, but the final version of the former head coach's book will reportedly be less critical of that tenure than initially planned.
According to Marc J. Spears and Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Karl's time with the Kings is discussed in the book Furious George, "but there have been passages critical of various aspects that have been removed."
Spears and Stein noted the book had "unflattering views in a proof copy" about big man DeMarcus Cousins, general manager Vlade Divac and owner Vivek Ranadive. However, they cited sources who said the edition of Furious George that will be made available to the public won't have Karl's negative views after part of his settlement with the team was to abstain from critical commentary.
According to Spears and Stein, ESPN.com obtained an excerpt in November that included a passage where swingman Rudy Gay said to Karl, "Welcome to basketball hell," upon the coach's arrival in Sacramento. That did not make the review copy of the book that some media members received.
Karl coached in Sacramento from 2014 to 2016 and finished with a 44-68 mark after leading his three previous teams to a combined record of 432 games above .500.
Karl coached the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Nuggets and Kings throughout his career and finished with a record of 1,175-824. Spears and Stein noted he is one of nine coaches to reach the 1,000-win plateau.
Despite Karl's record, the book has made headlines for far more than the documentation of his impressive coaching.
The New York Post's Marc Berman wrote that Karl was critical of Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin in the book. He coached the three players in Denver and called them "spoiled brats" and pointed to the absence of a father for Anthony and Martin as one reason why he thought they had troublesome attitudes.
Anthony responded, per Frank Isola of the New York Daily News: "Nothing disappoints me anymore. I'm past being disappointed. I just hope he finds happiness in what he's doing. His book…hopefully it will bring him happiness."
Martin and Smith each took to Twitter after their former coach criticized them:
Karl clearly had a strained relationship with Anthony, the team's star player in Denver—Spears and Stein said Karl called the trade of Anthony to the New York Knicks "a sweet release"—and he again found problems in Sacramento, this time with Cousins.
Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee noted Karl was almost fired in February of his final season with the Kings because of issues with players, and ESPN.com said a public dispute with Cousins nearly cost him his job in November of that campaign.
Despite what can only be described as a rocky tenure in Sacramento at best, there apparently won't be as many negative things about the Kings in Karl's book as there could have been.