George Karl: Nuggets Turn Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors Into Positive
PHOENIX -- Carmelo Anthony sat out Friday night's preseason contest against the Suns, along with teammates Nene and Chauncey Billups. But whether he plays or not, Anthony -- and the almost weekly trade rumors that swirl around him and the Nuggets -- has been the obvious focal point of the team this preseason.
Despite the seemingly unavoidable distraction, Nuggets coach George Karl doesn't believe it's had a negative impact on his club yet. In fact, he feels it's been the opposite.
"I think we've actually done a pretty good job of turning the distraction into a positive," Karl said. "There is a way that a problem can create mental focus, can create a discipline that you have to overcome on a daily basis.
"I think there's been very few practices where you felt there was a little bit of a distraction. I mean, most of our practices have been better than our games ... I'm not sure that's good either, but transferring what you do in practice to a game is why you have (the) preseason."
With the latest rumor involving Spike Lee acting as some kind of middleman between Anthony and the Knicks, the noise only gets louder the closer New York comes to being involved. But again, Karl feels that his team can draw more strength from the negative experiences than it can from the positive ones.
"Do you get stronger in positive energy or negative energy," Karl questioned. "We all know that most of the time you get stronger through negative problems. And it might not just be 'Melo, it might be what happened last year, how we lost, 'Melo ... we've got to be mentally tougher."
Coach Karl himself seems to be mentally tougher, back coaching after undergoing treatment for throat cancer last season. He's lost a considerable amount of weight due to the treatment, but when complimented on his appearance, his response was a spirited one.
"I've lost a lot of weight," Karl said. "But I wouldn't recommend the diet."