George Karl’s final season in Denver was a success--aside from that first round elimination. However, there was always a bit of a fear that 57 wins was their ceiling. However, nobody anticipated management taking a wrecking ball to the entire organization. George Karl's old school penchant for limiting the minutes of young players and bringing them along slowly may have irked management.
Via The Denver Post:
Continuity, consistency, togetherness all are so much more valuable than what they have on their priority list of playing JaVale McGee or the young players. And first of all, it shouldn't be that I didn't play young players. It's I didn't play young players enough, because we played a lot of young players — Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos, Evan Fournier at the end of the year, Ty Lawson. And, I never had a meeting where there was disappointment, in that part of it, voiced to me. I heard through whispers. I'm sorry that 57 wins doesn't make you happy. I think it was a special season because of the connection this team has with each other and with the coaching staff and with the city. The fans like this team. The staff likes each other. And to blow up that connection is, in my opinion, extremely disrespectful to coaching."
Karl also put a face to the name of his front office adversary. Karl appeared to have an amicable relationship with team owner Stan Kroenke, but the shift began with 32-year-old Josh Kroenke's rise to prominence within the organization. Sounds like the young Wal-Mart heir was not as big of a fan of Karl as his father.
"In the past, Stan (Kroenke, the team owner) would listen to all of us. I know I can be fired and the voices behind closed doors can be against me. But this year, I just felt that at the end, for a team that had so much success, unity and karma, I felt that Masai and Josh drifted into a direction that was difficult to understand."
It's hard to take sides in this debate, but firing Karl after winning Coach of the Year is a rookie move. Hopefully, nepotism doesn't have a negative effect on the Nuggets organization. It wouldn't be the first time.