George Karl Is Painfully Absent from the Denver Nuggets NBA Playoff Push

Angie MeyerContributor IIApril 27, 2010


They say it's never easy to watch from the sidelines, but what happens when standing on the sidelines is no longer an option? For the Denver Nuggets, and their head coach George Karl, standing court side is not a possibility.
Late February, Karl was diagnosed with throat and neck cancer. One of the most painful cancers in the world, with the most excruciating of treatment options.
George Karl, whose coached the Denver Nuggets for five seasons, is one of the most respected and admired coaches in the league. With his team 53-29, and continuing a massive wave in the NBA playoffs against giant-rivals Utah Jazz. Remaining sans their inspiring leader has not just hard on the Denver players, but on Karl himself.
Because of the rigorous chemo treatments, George Karl is unable to join his team in their post-season spectacular. The treacherous disease forced his leave of absence from the team.
Instead of the bench, he watches games from an armchair at home, while his girlfriend, Kim Van Derra injects his twice-daily medication. The pain chronicled by Karl himself on his blog, has left him for days unable to eat, or even speak. Too weak to get up and cheer, not being there with his team pains him more then the treatment itself.
This isn't the first battle with cancer the Karl family has undergone. The famed coach was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005, and soon after, his son Coby was diagnosed with thyroid cancer just before entering the 2006 draft.
George Karl has had quite an impressive impact on the Nuggets franchise. In 2006, he became the 12th coach in NBA history to earn the 800-win mark, and two years ago, Karl hit a career 900 wins. This season, with his his team is poised and ready for play-off progression, he could hit another mile-stone.
George Karl has been a staple in professional basketball for several decades. Beginning his NBA career as a player in 1973 for the San Antonio Spurs, he later made the jump into coaching, overseeing the likeliness of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Karl finally found his rightful home in Denver.
It's clear the Denver Nuggets feel the absence of Karl's presence. Yet, they'll play out the rest of their post-games with vengeance, and dedicate each win to their head coach. George Karl may not be with them physically, but his spirit and devotion to the Denver team and their fans remains ever-strong and more powerful then ever.

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