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High expectations mean spoiled fans in Broncos Country

High expectations mean spoiled fans in Broncos Country

"Unlike in the Elway years we failed to watch the Broncos with wide-eyed amazement. Instead we anticipated victories and felt vindicated when they came. That's why the loss in the...

Radio Row INTERVIEW: Peter Burns scored his dream gig but the Press Box will remain in good hands

Radio Row INTERVIEW: Peter Burns scored his dream gig but the Press Box will remain in good hands

"The Press Box is my baby." Burns told me. "I am not looking forward to leaving it but I know it's in good hands." Read More ...

Drew Soicher’s bad joke pissed the Broncos off pretty good

Drew Soicher’s bad joke pissed the Broncos off pretty good

Drew Soicher's silly routine on 9 News got him in trouble this time. Audio provided by the Press Box Read More ....

Dusty Saunders takes Drew Soicher to task at long last

Dusty Saunders takes Drew Soicher to task at long last

"9 News employs dozens of excellent reporters and anchors who help the station set the gold standard with its local news product. Even its other sports anchors, Rod Mackey, Aaron...

The de-Masaiing of the Nuggets has begun

The de-Masaiing of the Nuggets has begun

When Masai Ujiri remained the GM of your Denver Nuggets he was held in very high regard as one of the NBA's finest wheeler-dealers. In his absence, though, some of...

Big idea: The Mile High Sports Magazine “Boys of Summer” issue.

Big idea: The Mile High Sports Magazine “Boys of Summer” issue.

"...they would be breaking every stereotype in the macho world of sports publishing."

Change nothing but change the name Redskins

Change nothing but change the name Redskins

"Once Daniel Snyder capitulates the matter will be swept beneath the rug within a week and our attention will be drawn elsewhere. That's the way these things work." Read more ...

Will we look back more fondly on the Tebow season than on the Manning era?

Will we look back more fondly on the Tebow season than on the Manning era?

If Peyton Manning never wins a Super Bowl with the Broncos it's quite possible that decades from now fans will look back with greater fondness on the 2011 season than...

Kathy Sabine's next level weather dong

Kathy Sabine's next level weather dong

Deadspin (http://deadspin.com/tag/weather-dong) (@Deadspin) has been tracking instances of weather dong for as long as we can remember so it's with all due credit to them that we present what...

Better grilling NOW with Mangrate, the grill enhancement system. Use promo code: Denver for a $10 discount

Better grilling NOW with Mangrate, the grill enhancement system. Use promo code: Denver for a $10 discount

We at South Stands have been using Mangrate (http://www.mangrate.com/) for years. What's Mangrate? It's the 100% made in America grill enhancement system consisting of solid cast iron grill grates just like...

Dear John: a face-painting fanatical Broncos fan confronts Reidy's disgust

Dear John: a face-painting fanatical Broncos fan confronts Reidy's disgust

The host of the South Stands Denver Fancast, our own John Reidy (@johnreidydenver), has been vocal in his digust for the Broncos since their disasterous performance in the Super Bowl....

Brian Shaw can cement his legacy as Denver's biggest jerk ever

Brian Shaw can cement his legacy as Denver's biggest jerk ever

"ESPN's Stephen A Smith, a giant turd of a human being, reported on ESPN radio on Friday that Shaw would like to come to the big apple and that he...

Michael Sam's kiss was jarring; not that there's anything wrong with that.

Michael Sam's kiss was jarring; not that there's anything wrong with that.

"Not everybody was prepared to see two athletes kissing on TV. And it wasn't only the kissing that rocked America. It was the gentle stroking of Sam's bicep, the hand...

Bandwagon vs. Fair Weather Fan : A Tutorial

Bandwagon vs. Fair Weather Fan : A Tutorial

"The actual bandwagon is reserved for those who do not follow sports, know nothing about the details and specifics of how the game is played or even the players who...

Don’t let Donald Sterling give racism center stage

Don’t let Donald Sterling give racism center stage

"This “look at me” rush to protestation gives too much credit to men like Donald Sterling and not enough credit to our society." Read more ...

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Saturday, 19 January 2013 12:39

SSD Flashback: George Karl should be the next Doug Moe

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"It’s not hard to see that he’s tired. You can sense it during his post-game interviews – especially after a loss like the one he absorbed last night at home to the lowly Washington Wizards."

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Legendary Nuggets coach Doug Moe had served as a consultant for his old squad for a spell when, in 2005, George Karl asked his old friend to take a seat on the bench for the remaining third of that season. “We weren’t going to put any serious demands on him other than being a communicator and a guy hanging around helping me understand what goes on in the Denver organization,” Karl told Aaron Lopez of Nuggets.com in 2011. George Karl had taken over as coach of the team only a few months prior, on January 27, 2005.

The Nuggets were four games under .500 when Doug Moe accepted his expanded role with the team. They went on to secure the seventh seed in the playoffs, going a stunning 25-4 after the All-Star break. “That run was pretty incredible stuff,” Karl said. “One of the best decisions I made was convincing Doug to come back because he kind of unified the staff and the organization. Everybody kind of came together because Doug was part of the crew.”

Moe remained “part of the crew” for several more years, as an assistant coach, then as a consultant. He retired for a second time in 2009. During his second tenure with the Nuggets, Moe wasn’t always expected to travel with the team. He was given a schedule that jived with his age and his energy level. He was in his middle sixties – no longer a young man.

Today George Karl is 61. He is approaching the age that Doug Moe was when he was consulting for the Nuggets. The old ball coach has survived a battle with prostate cancer that left him seeming older that his years would indicate. It’s not hard to see that he’s tired. You can sense it during his post-game interviews – especially after a loss like the one he absorbed last night at home to the lowly Washington Wizards. Karl has already suggested that he might lighten own travel schedule, arriving various cities after the team has already participated in walk-throughs, allowing his assistants to work the team out and spend time going over the game plan before he flies in.

Karl is no spring chicken. Maybe the time has come for the team to move him into a role similar to the one Moe played. He could act as a consultant and assistant, remain close to the team, participate in instructing the players and help bring his vision for the Nuggets together while no longer acting as the head coach.

Melvin Hunt, who is in his third season with the Nuggets, could act a surrogate. Hunt had wild success as member of the Cleveland Cavaliers staff before moving to Denver. His Cavs teams made four consecutive appearances in the Eastern Conference semi-finals and reached the finals in 2009. Those seasons pre-dated Lebron James’ famous “decision” to leave Cleveland, of course. But Hunt learned a lot about winning nonetheless.

While George Karl seems exhausted and disheartened while speaking with the media, Hunt seems young, confident and self-assured. There’s an undeniable contrast between the two coaches, detectable even to a novice viewer. Doesn’t it stand to reason that Hunt is better equipped to communicate with players, too? Can Karl’s weary, scratchy delivery possibly carry his message anymore?

Any time the question is posed “should George Karl be fired?” the response from his supporters is “who would you replace him with?” Perhaps the answer is Melvin Hunt. And maybe it’s a transition that can be made gradually with Karl still an active participant in plotting strategy for the Nuggets. His passion for basketball has clearly never waned, and he remains a top NBA coach in most people’s eyes. Still, the Nuggets are never as good as they should be.

Unless Karl would simply refuse a lesser role and threaten to leave to coach another team, coupling him with a younger, more energetic man to assume the head coaching role could be the best thing for Karl and for the Denver Nuggets.

The team could make Hunt’s title “Assistant Head Coach” and he could assume a portion of Karl’s responsibilities – including facing the media after a tough loss.

Last modified on Friday, 07 June 2013 13:06
Colin Daniels

Colin is the emcee of the South Stands Denver Fancast and maintains our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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