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Karl: “I love Europe”

By Niki Bakouli/

He belongs to the elite of NBA coaches with a 22 years career and more than 1.000 wins. However, George Karl keeps a special place in his heart for his years in Europe and Real Madrid at two different occasions (1989-90 and 1991-92 season). Since then, he hadn’t tried it again after his great results in the best league of the world. However, as he says in from Las Vegas, he wouldn’t be negative to the challenge of a European return.

- Do you have in mind to come back to Europe some day after all this success in NBA?

“I love Europe. I like the idea to have two games per week instead of 4-5. Euroleague is incredible competition but for some reason there is stigmatism from Europeans that Americans can’t coach in Europe. But I wouldn’t mind if I would try to fight against that. I would love the challenge to have a team in Europe and try to win the European championship”.

- What did you like most in Europe?

“I felt that the European basketball is a kind of combination between college and pro basketball. It’s full of energy and passion in every game and that might not be true in NBA. Τhe skills and challenge of European basketball was compared with college basketball but you have older guys who are more competitive and have energy in the highest level. The only thing I would like to see is a European game of 48 minutes and the players to adapt to NBA rules in a 48 minutes game”.

- In Europe there isn’t a game that doesn’t matter. You almost are going to be killed if you lose a crucial game…

“Your passion about anything, soccer, basketball is a serious problem…”

- What about Denver Nuggets? You have a lot of new and young guys…

“We have a new team which goes to a positive direction. Our challenge is to improve our young guys. We want to continue to win and hopefully continue to be to the play off s and also win there. We have been very successful in the regular season but we weren’t able to win the playoff series. We want to be among the best four teams of the conference”.

- What about JaVale McGee and what are your thoughts about your draft picks and specially Evan Fournier?

“I’m sure that McGee will sign. That’s what our management is working on daily basis and I trust them. We don’t want to do a mistake about the free agents and try to do the best. The evidence is Fournier can be a NBA player. I think he played pretty good here, in Vegas. He showed us his style, his excitement to play here and hopefully he can follow our program”.

- What do you hope for the next season?

“I try to be calm and try to persuade everyone that we can beat anyone”.

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