Penn Hills native George Karl earns NBA coach of the year honors

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Selfless and starless. These were the staples of the exhilarating Denver Nuggets' NBA franchise-record 57-win regular season.

George Karl kept with that theme Wednesday, sharing the credit far and wide after being named the league's coach of the year for the first time in his quarter-century as an NBA head coach.

Karl, a Penn Hills native, thanked everyone from his middle school coach who got him into the game to his good friend, the late Rick Majerus, in an emotional news conference at Pepsi Center in Denver.

He credited Nuggets players, assistant coaches, scouts, trainers, front office, ownership and support staff as he eyed the bronze Red Auerbach Trophy in front of him.

"What I hope is everybody understands this is not about me. It's about a lot of people and a lot of people in my past and I am proud to have that trophy," Karl said.

"When I was told of the award about a week ago, it was a very humbling, emotional experience, because it made me think about my career," Karl said. "... A lot of times I wanted to win it and never did win it and now I've gotten calloused to winning it. And now I win it because this was probably in my career the most oneness of an organization, a basketball team, a coaching staff, a support staff, administrative staff.

"I get the award in my name but it is totally because of the oneness that we brought to the table this season."

Karl worked wonders with a lineup that lacked an All-Star, was beset by injuries to several starters and twisted its way through a brutal early season schedule in which 22 of the team's first 32 games were on the road.

Relying on an old-school up-tempo offense and a deep bench that wore out opponents, especially at altitude, the Nuggets led the league in scoring, fast break production and points in the paint with nary a dominant scorer -- Ty Lawson led Denver with 16.7 points a game, which ranked 31st in the league.

They went an NBA-best 38-3 at home, winning their final 23 games at Pepsi Center in the regular season and going 24-4 overall after the All-Star break.

The third-seeded Nuggets sorely missed forward Danilo Gallinari (knee) in the first round of the playoffs, however, and they lost in six games to Stephen Curry and the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors.


Brooklyn's next coach will not be Phil Jackson. Jackson informed the team that he is not interested in their head-coaching vacancy, a source confirmed to The Nets had made the 11-time NBA coaching champion their No. 1 target to replace P.J. Carlesimo, who was dismissed after serving as interim coach for most of the past season.


New team president Flip Saunders fired international scouting coordinator Pete Philo (who helped land guard Ricky Rubio), regional scout Curtis Crawford and Will Conroy.


Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is tapping his friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to ask for the release of a Korean-American man sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the North.

Up close

George Karl

? The Nuggets won 57 games this season -- the 12th time a Karl-coached team has won 50.

? At 38-3, the Nuggets owned the best home record in the NBA this season.

? He became only the sixth coach in NBA history to win 1,100 career games Jan. 23 with a win vs. Houston.

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