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Former Nuggets HC George Karl Trolls Carmelo Anthony Over NBA Championship Comments

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 10, 2021

Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Former NBA head coach George Karl poked fun at Carmelo Anthony on Monday following Melo's decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.

In response to Anthony saying that the thought of winning a championship "keeps me up at night," Karl tweeted the following:

George Karl @CoachKarl22

And it kept our coaching staff up at night a decade ago when we were stressing the importance of team play and defense! 😆 <a href="https://t.co/riomQd667N">https://t.co/riomQd667N</a>

Karl spent over 20 years as an NBA head coach with six different teams, including the Denver Nuggets from 2005-13.

During his tenure in Denver, the Nuggets reached the playoffs all nine years, but they were eliminated in the first round eight times with the only outlier being a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2009.

For the first seven seasons of Karl's time in Denver, Anthony was the Nuggets' star player, earning four All-Star nods and averaging 25.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during that stretch.

While Anthony established himself as star in Denver, it translated to very little team success during the postseason.

As Karl alluded to in his tweet, Melo wasn't necessarily always committed on the defensive end, and his penchant for dominating the ball offensively meant the Nuggets went as Anthony went.

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Those principles have allowed Anthony to put together a Hall of Fame resume complete with 10 All-Star selections, six All-NBA nods and one scoring title, but an NBA championship is the main thing missing from his list of accomplishments.

Melo is hoping to change that by signing with the Lakers, who won a championship in 2020 and are looking to return to that level during the 2021-22 season.

The duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis will lead the way, and new addition Russell Westbrook figures to play a significant role as well.

At this point in his career, the 37-year-old Anthony is comfortable being a role player and contributing where needed rather than being the focus.

That much was apparent last season with the Portland Trail Blazers when he came off the bench in all but three of the 69 games he appeared in after coming off the bench only eight times in his first 17 NBA seasons.

Anthony's 13.4 points per game last season matched a career low, but he made 1.9 three-pointers per game and made a career-best 40.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

In free agency, the Lakers made a concerted effort to surround their stars with shooters, and Melo could have a big role in the Lakers' success if he thrives in that department again.

While it is true Melo was never able to go the distance as the star player on a championship-winning team, he now has a chance to prove to everyone, including Karl, that he can adapt and win under different circumstances.

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