Skip to main content

"I look back at that series with a lot of heartache"

Kobe-Carmelo

Coming off their five-game series win over the Mavericks, the George Karl- led Denver Nuggets were set to face the LA Lakers in the franchise's first WCF since '85. Karl's gameplan for the series was simple, minimize Kobe's impact and let the other guys beat them.

Our gameplan was control everybody else, put your best defender on Kobe, and hopefully, he won't shoot the ball well.

George Karl, ">1-on-1 with Basketball Network

But like with every matchup against top-tier NBA talent, this was easier said than done. Karl tried putting Dahntay Jones on him; it didn't work. He had JR Smith defending him, that also didn't work. He even tried Anthony Carter, but a 6-1 guard was no match for The Black Mamba. Upstroke - 34/5.8/5.8 on .481/.344/.931 shooting splits for Bryant and a chance to win his first post-Shaq NBA title after the missed opportunity the year before.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

So all the plans about getting the ball out of his hands, all the talk about forcing him into making selfish individual decisions, none of that worked against Kobe and the Lakers. They displayed a great team basketball, with a standout guy being a guy wearing No.24. However, the impact guys like Gasol, Ariza, Odom, Bynum, and Fisher had can't go unnoticed.

Nevertheless, the Nuggets did put up a great fight. They even had two very winnable games slip through their finger because of poor inbound plays. So I guess that's why coach Karl has a tough time when remembering this series. The Nuggets really did have a chance to do something historic.

I look back at that series with a lot of heartache because winning a championship would've been so special for the city of Denver and for the players.

George Karl, ">1-on-1 with Basketball Network

It took the Nuggets 12 years to get back into the WCF. It took them 12 years to have a group that is ready to get the organization back into title contention, and Denver fans are hoping that the core of Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray will do something Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and the rest of the 08/09 group couldn't do - bring the organization its first-ever NBA championship.

LeBron James admits he started taking care of his body pretty late in his career

LeBron shares his top three players of all time: "This is tough!"

Back in 2014, LeBron had a lot of trouble picking just three guys.

tracy-mcgrady-rudy-gobert-min

Tracy McGrady calls out Rudy Gobert: "What the f**k are you doing in the off-season?"

T-Mac just can comprehend Gobert hasn't added any moves to his offensive game over the years.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan once went from judging a dunk contest to destroying the winner in street clothes

MJ's future teammate Jo Jo English was one of the first people to learn an important lesson - never talk trash to Black Jesus.

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh promotes healthy eating that keeps him in prime shape despite being retired — “It gives me the energy I need to go forward”

Fully aware his NBA days are behind him, Chris Bosh explained why he still eats healthy and works out every day.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan goes up against Utah Jazz player Bryon Russell

“There's no 'Jordan rules' when you play 1-on-1“ — Byron Russell claims Michael Jordan 'chickened out' from a 1-on-1 challenge

After being called out by Michael Jordan during his Hall of Fame speech, Bryon Russell hit back and challenged MJ to a 1-on-1 game. According to Russell, Jordan "chickened out."

Lower Merion High School senior Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant had a “kill list” of 56 players who were ranked above him in high school

Trust Kobe Bryant to make any rankings lists (that has him as an underdog) look foolish

George-Gervin-1

George Gervin shares his all-time five and snubs Michael Jordan

"The Iceman" shared a great lineup with players from his era, sharing a few surprising choices.

Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley

When Michael Jordan "took things personally" on air against Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley bet against Michael Jordan and paid the price.