George Karl Says NBA Has Issues with Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2016

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 1: Head coach George Karl of the Sacramento Kings coaches against the Miami Heat on April 1, 2016 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Longtime NBA head coach George Karl has angered plenty of former players with his new book, and that is unlikely to stop with his most recently revealed accusations.

In Furious George, the 65-year-old alleged the NBA has a widespread problem with illegal substances, per Dan Feldman of NBC Sports:

I'm talking about performance-enhancing drugs—like steroids, human growth hormone, and so on. It's obvious some of our players are doping. How are some guys getting older—yet thinner and fitter? How are they recovering from injuries so fast? Why the hell are they going to Germany in the off-season? I doubt it’s for the sauerkraut.

More likely it's for the newest, hard-to-detect blood boosters and PEDs they have in Europe.

While noting the NBA has tougher drug testing than the NFL and MLB, Karl also said the league is often steps behind the "cheaters."

Kobe Bryant went to Germany for platelet-rich plasma therapy on his knee several times toward the end of his career, posting a picture of the procedure on his Instagram account.

Ananth Pandian of CBS Sports noted players like Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams have also made the trip overseas for the treatment.

Karl never coached Bryant or Wade, however, so he may not have intimate knowledge of the treatment in Germany or its legitimacy.

Some players Karl did coach were already upset with him. Another passage in his book ripped New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith and retired big man Kenyon Martin, who all played under Karl during his time with the Denver Nuggets.

Per Marc Berman of the New York Post, Karl called Anthony a "conundrum" who was a "user of people" and "addicted to the spotlight."

Martin was quick to respond to the criticism:

Karl has spent 27 years as a head coach in the NBA with six different organizations. He was most recently the coach of the Sacramento Kings, who fired him following the 2015-16 campaign after accumulating a 33-49 record.