Across the Denver area Friday, opinions were fired off like Stephen Curry jump shots. Should the Nuggets keep coach George Karl, who won a franchise NBA-best 57 games, or let him go after a first-round playoff flameout?
"George is under contract for next year. At this point in time, we haven't really given any thought to making any change whatsoever," team president Josh Kroenke told The Denver Post and Nuggets.com. "As we do at the end of every season, we'll have internal meetings and George will obviously be a major part of them.
"We won 57 games and in my mind, he should hands down be the NBA coach of the year. We'll all put our heads together and try to figure out what happened (in the playoffs) and why it happened. We were without our second-leading scorer, and some benefit of the doubt should be given to a coach with well over 1,000 wins without one of his leading scorers (injured Danilo Gallinari) in the playoffs."
Friday was a somber day at the Pepsi Center, one day after Denver's season ended at the hands of Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Karl found himself searching for answers.
"A lot of us coaches feel we could have done better, should have done better," Karl said. "We made a big step (with 57 wins), but it wasn't validated by the playoffs. ... I thought we had a team that I was pushing the buttons and moving it around and it worked so well in the regular season — not to make it work in the playoffs, I think there's a heavy burden on me, and of course my record speaks for myself. And even though I put an armor on to defend my record, I'm disappointed in my (playoff) record, as well."
Usually energetic, Karl was sullen and zapped Friday afternoon when he spoke to the media.
"There's an emptiness in my body, an emptiness in the guys of that locker room," he said. "But we have a great young bunch of guys."
The third-seeded Nuggets weren't themselves against the sixth-seeded Warriors, who controlled much of the playoff series. Thursday night, Golden State ousted the Nuggets, who have gotten past the first round of the playoffs only once in Karl's nine seasons.