Apr 6, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee (34) attempts a dunk over Houston Rockets power forward Donatas Motiejunas (20) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets Fired George Karl Because Of JaVale McGee?


There were some shock waves sent through the NBA fandom when the Denver Nuggets and George Karl parted ways yesterday afternoon, many wondering what the breaking point was that resulted in such a drastic move.

And while suggestions of a contractual dispute and another first round playoff exit were talked about, according to ESPN, one of the main reasons Karl was let go was because of big man JaVale McGee, who he seemingly refused to play for any extended period of time.

Per ESPN:

A source with knowledge of the situation told Shelburne one of the primary issues the Nuggets had with Karl was his reluctance to play young center JaVale McGee, whom they had signed to a four-year, $44 million extension in the offseason.

Karl continually pointed out the reason McGee played so sparingly was simply because he was more effective in short bursts, but the former Nevada product nor the Nugget front office bought into that same philosophy and McGee’s 18 minutes a game created tension between the parties.

After playing 27 minutes a game in both 2010-11 and 2011-12 for the Washington Wizards, McGee just cracked 20 minutes during his initial half season in Denver, a number that was reduced even greater this season, his first full in the Mile High city.

Tags: Denver Nuggets George Karl JaVale McGee