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George Karl in negotiations for Nuggets post

1/27/2005 - Denver Nuggets


George Karl and the Denver Nuggets are in negotiations to try to hammer out a coaching deal, but the former coach said it could take some time.

The sides have not yet reached an agreement, but the Nuggets are hoping to move quickly, sources told ESPN.com.

Karl and Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe met Monday night in Chicago. Karl said he would prefer to keep his conversation with Vandeweghe private, but revealed that he has long considered coaching the Nuggets or Spurs.

"I want to echo what Kiki [Vandeweghe] said, that we had a good talk, and we're going to keep what was in the conversation privy," he told ESPN.com Wednesday.

"I will add that, because of my ABA roots, the Spurs and the Nuggets have been the teams I've dreamt about coaching probably more than any other teams in the league. ... So the Nuggets would be a great fit for me, and they're a team I'd like to coach."

A day earlier, Vandeweghe told The Associated Press that he and Karl mutually agreed to keep what was said between themselves.


Asked whether there was a timetable, Karl deferred to Vandeweghe but added, "The conversation was that it could happen in the next 10 days or not happen at all.

"The whole spectrum was discussed. They could keep [interim coach Michael] Cooper; they could wait till the summer; or they could change now. That's what they're figuring out."

The Nuggets, who lost 111-107 at Chicago on Tuesday and 87-70 at Detroit the following night, are 4-10 since Cooper replaced Jeff Bzdelik, who was fired Dec. 28 after the Nuggets opened the season 13-15.

Karl, who last coached in the NBA in 2002-03 at Milwaukee, has personal and business ties with Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke and has said Denver is one of the top three places he'd like to coach.

Vandeweghe also has talked with at least two other candidates, and he confirmed that Cooper still has a chance at the job.

"You always want to do it as quickly as possible, not let things hang out there, but you don't always get exactly what you want," Vandeweghe said. "Sometimes these things have a life of their own and you have to let them run their course."

The Nuggets, according to sources, want a veteran coach to toughen up an underachieving (and injury-ravaged) team that sits at 17-25.

Karl, currently an analyst for ESPN, has coached four NBA teams (Cleveland, Golden State, Seattle and Milwaukee) and has a career record of 708-499.


If he doesn't get an offer now, Karl said, "I'll continue with what I'm doing [at ESPN]. I don't have a bad life -- I have a pretty good life."

Kroenke did not attend Monday's meeting, sources said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Also, click here to send a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.