From Tonga to Cameroon to Great Britain to Greece to Bohemia, there have been 19 kings named George.

George Karl isn't among them.

Unlike George VI, Karl has never given a king's speech.

George of the Nuggets is beloved by perhaps 90 percent of Coloradans — because of his buoyant personality and coaching style, his eight first- or second-place division finishes and four 50-plus victory seasons in a row and his confrontation with, and crusade against, cancer.

But more than 50 percent of the people would have Karl fired if the Nuggets lose in the playoffs' first round for the seventh time in eight seasons since George took over. (George was at the helm for six flops, and Adrian Dantley was interim coach for the other.) Just once the Nuggets reached the Western Conference finals.

(Overall, in their NBA history, the Nuggets have plunged 15 times in the opening round.)