DENVER -- Denver Nuggets coach George Karl says he was only trying to help his son when he attended a series of workouts that got him suspended and his team fined $200,000 by the NBA.
Karl said his son, Coby Karl, a junior-to-be at Boise State, took part in practice sessions last month organized by close friend and former University of Utah coach Rick Majerus. Among the other players there were Illinois guard Deron Williams and Indiana guard Bracey Wright, two juniors who were not officially announced as early entry candidates for the June 28 draft.
Karl's presence violated NBA rules regarding contact with players not yet eligible for the draft.
"This is nothing other than I wanted my son to have a good workout," Karl told the Rocky Mountain News in a telephone interview this week. "I know I broke the rules but didn't know the rules. I know ignorance is not an excuse.
"I really preach that you don't do things to hurt your team. Anytime you take yourself off the court, it hurts your team."
Karl was suspended for the first three games of next season, the first punishment of its kind in his 17 seasons as a coach.
"I thought it was severe, but I understand where the league is coming from," Karl said.
Karl, who was 32-8 after joining the Nuggets on Jan. 27, said he plans to be around the Nuggets as long as possible. Suspended players and coaches are allowed to attend game-day shootarounds.