Mike Prada of SB Nation recently took on the daunting task of ranking every single current NBA head coach from one to thirty. Lakers head coach Phil Jackson topped the list with Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew bringing up the rear.
Prada ranked Nuggets head coach George Karl in the ninth spot, behind Jackson, Greg Popovich, Stan Van Gundy, Jerry Sloan, Rick Adelman, Nate McMillan, Doc Rivers, and Mike D'Antoni. Regardless of where Karl is ranked, he proved his value and then some when he had to leave the team at the end of the last season.
Anyone who doubts George Karl's coaching value should pop in some tapes of the 2009-10 Denver Nuggets late in the season. Karl's illness singlehandily ruined a potential Western Conference finalist, and getting him back is huge for the Nuggets as they maneuver through stormy waters. Few inspire and motivate their players better than Karl. He always gets his players to play hard, fostering a crazy atmosphere that wrecks havoc on his team's opponents. The double-edged sword is that his teams often make silly mistakes and underachieve in the playoffs.
- Coaching History: Cleveland Cavaliers (1984-86), Golden State Warriors (1986-88), Seattle Supersonics (1992-1998), Milwaukee Bucks (1999-2003), Denver Nuggets (2005-present)
- Record with current team: 278-172
- Overall record: 986-671
- Best season: 1995-96 Sonics (64-18, Western Conference champions)
- Worst season: 1984-85 Cavaliers (36-46, still a playoff team)
- Playoff record: 74-93
- Biggest strength: Ability to motivate players
- Biggest weakness: Tends to foster undisciplined play in key moments