Nuggets, George Karl talk extension
DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets and coach George Karl are discussing a contract extension for next season, and Karl is looking even further into the future.
The 59-year-old Karl, who is closing in on 1,000 career wins, is in the final year of his contract and wants to coach at least three years beyond this season.
"I'd be 63 then. If I want to do it after that then we'd talk again," he said before Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. "I have the passion and energy to try keep this Broadway show going."
Karl is in his seventh season with the Nuggets and has led them to the playoffs every year since taking over midway through the 2005-06 season. They reached the Western Conference finals in 2009 before losing in the first round in 2010, when Karl missed the last couple months of last season while fighting throat and neck cancer.
Karl recently received a clean bill of health but said his doctors will continue to monitor him.
The team said both sides expect the deal to get done in the next few months.
"The further you get into the season the contract situation is going to be discussed," Karl said. "Hopefully we can keep winning and keep that off the discussion plate. My concern the last six months has been on me and my health and it still is. I knew if I could get healthy and stay healthy I could coach a few more years and that's probably what I want to do. I'd love it to be in Denver and I'm hoping this will work out quickly."
Karl said he thinks this year's team has a chance to be special, despite trade rumors surrounding All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.
"I like where the team is; it has a chance to be the best team I've ever had here. I've always felt that way," he said. "I was always amazed about the doomsday that people had us at the beginning of the year. In January we were one of the top two teams in the NBA. The things that blew up on us, some of them weren't under our control."
Karl's reasons for staying in Denver go beyond professional. He said he enjoys the city and the people.
"I love Denver. It's my type of city. For good or bad, a lot of people like me," he said. "The weather is incredibly good, Colorado's maybe the prettiest state in the union. Probably top two or three.
"It's a great city. I probably plan on living here with or without a contract for the rest of my life," he said.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press