George Karl has fired shots at dozens of NBA players in his new book, “Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection,” including Kendall Gill, who played for Karl in Seattle from 1993-95.
Karl wrote that Gill was a bad teammate – a claim the 48-year-old disputes.
“I was always a good teammate,” Gill said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Always, always played within my team. As a matter of fact, George Karl himself said I was too unselfish to become a superstar. He told me that. And now, what you’re telling me – that he said I was a bad teammate – I take that personally. You can ask anybody that I’ve ever played with. Was I selfish? I was never any of those things. For him to come out and say that about me is simply wrong.”
Given the number of people Karl has offended, however, it’s hardly surprising.
“Let me tell you something,” Gill said. “George Karl is, to me, a brilliant coach. As far as X’s and O’s go, he, to me, was one of the best I ever played for. I loved his system. If I was ever to coach again, I would go back and break out my Seattle tape and use some of the offensive and defensive schemes that he put in his system. However, I think he’s a horrible person. I vowed to myself never to say anything about him ever again, but seeing now that he’s brought up these things and continues to lie about me – here we are some 20 years later – I’m not going to take it sitting down. You can put me on record for that.”
Gill played two seasons in Seattle. He started 135 games for Karl and averaged 13.9 points, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals. Gill enjoyed some of his time with Karl, but not all of it.
“The guy can coach,” Gill said. “Flat out, he can coach. When I went to Seattle, I didn’t have problems with him my first year. I had problems with him my second year. I think George starts off good with his players, but somewhere down the line, he starts being George and messes up his team. I think he should be a Hall of Fame coach, but he always seems to get in his own way by disrupting his relationships with his players. . . . I’ve spoken to George since I’ve played with him, and I thought that we had buried this hatchet. I didn’t know that this was going to come up again because I’ve never really spoken about it since probably ’97. I haven’t said too much about him. I don’t know what he said about me, but it’s unfortunate that he wrote the book and he came out against a lot of different players, as I understand.”
Indeed, Karl took shots at dozens of players, including Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin.
“How can you have a problem with everybody?” Gill asked. “Everybody can’t be wrong. Somewhere along the line, George Karl has to look in the mirror at himself and ask himself why do I have problems with all these players? I thought the comments he made about Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin were totally off-base. It’s none of his business about their upbringing, about their fathers. Those guys are solid players. Those guys are solid teammates. They’ve been great for the NBA. You shouldn’t say things like that about them.”
That Karl may have clashed with, say, DeMarcus Cousins is not surprising. But someone like Ray Allen? Really?
“I know Ray Allen personally,” Gill said. “Ray Allen is a gentleman – the ultimate gentleman. How can you have problems with Ray Allen? That’s the question that I’m asking. But hey, it doesn’t surprise me that George put this book out.”
Gill also refuted Karl’s claim that the NBA has a rampant PED problem.
“I don’t think there is PED use in the league,” Gill said. “Back when I played, it was a possibility because we only got tested one time a year – that being in October, right when you went to training camp. Now from what I understand, they have four random blood and urine tests per year, so it’s virtually impossible for that to happen and for players not to be detected.”