George Karl With Some Twitter Heat


Jim Rome
August 21, 2020 - 10:58 am
George Karl

Getty Images


If we’re being honest, none of the four games yesterday were especially competitive but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some serious heat in the Association. It just wasn’t on floor, it was on social media. AND NBA TWITTER STILL RULES. 

Let me start with Paul George. He had a rough Game 2 against the Mavericks. Like really, really rough. Like 14 points on 4 of 17 shooting rough. Like this brutal air ball from three in a five point game.

You knew when he had a game like that, the “Playoff P” jokes were going to come. And they should. That’s not unfair. If you call yourself Playoff P and then you have a disaster of a game like that, you’re going to hear it. And he did, with some on twitter glossing him “Pandemic P.”

That’s the danger of self-gloss. If you live up to the gloss, you can keep it.

And for a night, Playoff P was rolling with the Zoo Keeper and the Crystal Methodist, and there was plenty of slander headed his way.

So he did pretty much the last thing you should do in a situation like this, he jumped on Instagram and posted, quote “IDGAF what anybody think about me. Bleep is you thinking about me for anyway” with a crying laughing emoji at the end.

First of all, nothing says I don’t give a bleep what anybody thinks about me like getting on social media to announce to the world that I don’t give a bleep what anybody thinks about me.

The irony there is pretty heavy. This is a message for all you losers who are thinking about me, I’m not thinking about you either. Just ignore this social media post that clearly shows I’m thinking about you…

I’m just loving the emoji choice. Like, I’m not bothered by any of this, in fact, I’m loving it. All of it. It’s hilarious to me. I’m laughing so hard at the hate that I’m crying.

And yet, somehow, Playoff P taking a run at all the haters wasn’t the most electric social media moment from last night. It would be on almost any other night. But, it’s getting the silver medal here because there was another exchange and it appeared to start with this moment during the broadcast.

There is a lot there and I want to unpack it in a minute, but one part of that clip, got someone’s attention. And that part is this: "there's a shared responsibility for whoever allowed that defense to be played."

And that someone is George Karl.

Because George came flying in on Twitter with this fire: I heard Mark Jackson is taking shots at my defensive coaching during tonight’s broadcast. Remind me, how many all-star teams did you coach, Mark? How many Dpoys? How many Finals appearances?  How many of my teams became dynasties right after I left?

Holy freaking crap. That was an absolute napalm job. You take a run at my coaching career, I will absolutely destroy yours.

It starts with the number of all-star teams, then moves on to the number of Defensive Player of the Years, then to the Finals appearances and Jackson is just eating punches.  Where’s the ref to stop that fight? Why isn’t Jackson’s corner throwing in the towel before he gets seriously or permanently injured?  Because if you leave a guy out there to take a punishment and he’s  unable to defend himself, this is what happens: he gets clocked with a haymaker like this: How many of my teams became dynasties right after I left?

SHUT IT DOWN, LET’S GO HOME!!! Becuase we’re done here. He just vaporized Mark Jackson. That is a guy with nearly 1200 regular season wins obliterating a guy with 121 regular season wins.

I get the sense there’s been some bad blood between them in the past, but don’t know if Mark Jackson was actually thinking of Karl when he made that statement. Because I’m not totally sure what Mark Jackson was talking about? 

First of all, the claim that "people who killed Carmelo Anthony for his defense in the past, they were wrong” is one of the most outlandish statements ever. I mean, it’s wrong. Really, really wrong. It’s inaccurate. 

Let me start by saying I have loved what Melo’s done in Portland. I love everything about it – his leadership, how he’s fit into that team, what he’s done offensively, his effort defensively, the way he leaned out and is reinventing himself and fitting it: couldn’t be more impressed with Melo right now. 

But the idea that people were wrong for criticizing his defense in the past is a joke. He is legendary for being an uncommitted defender. That was part of his brand. He was going to score at will and play defense well, whenever he damn well felt like it. Which was not very often at all. 

It’s not like we need to fire up old game film and that if we do, we’re going to see he was Dennis Rodman or Draymond Green. Hell no.

Just because he’s trying now, against his old friend LeBron, doesn’t mean we should start re-writing history and acting like this guy was some lock down defender.  Because he wasn’t. And I have no idea why Mark Jackson would suggest that he was.

And even worse than saying that people who killed him for his defense were wrong is the claim that "there's a shared responsibility for whoever allowed that defense to be played." As in the bad defense that Melo has played throughout his career is on his coaches as well as him because they “allowed that defense to be played.”

Again, he’s actually trying on defense right now and he deserves credit for that. I would also submit that people have the capacity to grow and change over the course of their lives and that his effort and buy-in might have been inspired by how much time he spent out of the game before coming to Portland. Great. No one is more about reinvention than I am. Couldn’t’ respect it any more than I do.

But when you have a guy who has played for as many coaches as Melo has and none of them have been able to get him to exert the requisite effort on defense, that’s not on the coaches. That’s on Melo.

By my count, Melo’s at double digits in NBA head coaches. And he’s exerted limited effort on defense with pretty much all of them. So how the hell is that on the coaches? How is that possible?  It’s not.  Which makes it a horrible take. 

Maybe if we were talking about one or two coaches, you could say that’s on them for not connecting with him and developing a scheme that fit him, but when we’re getting north of five coaches, at a certain part, and a number of them are seriously accomplished coaches, it’s on the player.

I’m still not sure where Jackson was going with his comments, but I’m guessing he won’t be going there again as long as George Karl has a twitter account. My man George has a phone and a pair of thumbs and he’s not afraid to use them.