"Furious George" only shows up occasionally now, as when George Karl had his famous ref rampage in a game this spring. So it's hard to believe he was once perceived forever furious.
That's when the mid-30s Karl coached Golden State, Denver's first-round playoff opponent, in 1986-87 and most of 1987-88.
Now calmer and more introspective, the 61-year-old Karl said he was a different kind of coach then, sharing a story about a locker room run-in with Joe Barry Carroll.
"I tore his locker up," Karl said of the night of May 9, 1987. "Basically, we lost the third game of the second round and were down 3-0 to L.A. I was angry and mad. And he walked into my office and said basically, 'Coach, cool down man, we had a great year, relax, the Lakers are good.' I don't remember exactly what he said, but basically he said we're dead in the water, and I wasn't ready to quit. So I walked out and I lost my cool, threw some balls at his locker, slammed the door and it fell off."