There have been no shortage of George Karl discussions when it pertains to the Cleveland Cavaliers and their recent (four years worth of) struggles, but we may finally have something tangible to cling to. In a report from Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Mary Schmitt Boyer, in the event that Dan Gilbert and his ownership team wish to hire a team president—they’re all the rage, after all—Karl would love to be considered.
“Being a leader, running a team and organizing a group with the common goal of winning a championship would be the ultimate challenge in my career,” Karl said via email.
Karl’s first head coaching job in the NBA was with the Cavs back in 1984-85. His maiden voyage started with a rough 0-9, but finished with a record of 34-27 over the last four months of the season, clinching a playoff spot. As Boyer mentions, Karl was famously carried off of the floor on the shoulders of his players following the playoff-clinching 14-point win over the Nets. Unfortunately, that euphoria was short-lived as he was fired the next season following a 25-42 season, one of just three years in his 25 that a Karl-led team didn’t make the playoffs. Karl also coached in Golden State, Seattle and Milwaukee with his SuperSonics team making the NBA Finals in 1996, only to run into the same buzzsaw as the Cavs had for so many years, losing to a recently unretired Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games.
The most prominent former head coach to land a Team President job is Phil Jackson who was recently added to the fold in New York. Flip Saunders has a simlar role in Minnesota with the Timberwolves, while Larry Bird has long been a part of the Indiana Pacers front office. There is no word on whether Gilbert and his team have plans to go down this route.
[Related: George Karl spoke, I listened]
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