Best Coach -- Professional (2005)

George Karl
Denver Nuggets

Talk about dramatic turnarounds. When hard-nosed George Karl, late of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Seattle Sonics, took over as the Denver Nuggets' head coach on January 27, they had a dismal 17-25 record under fired Jeff Bzdelik and fill-in Michael Cooper, and fans had begun to boo the lackluster efforts of highly paid stars like Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby. Since then, though, the resurgent Nugs have played 18-5 ball, and they've apparently nailed down a Western Conference playoff spot. The difference appears to be the no-nonsense leadership of Karl, who has a rep for treating young players harshly but now seems to be getting the best out of teenager Anthony and Brazilian work-in-progress Nene. The team's 8-4 record in February earned Karl Coach of the Month honors; he'd prefer to win the award in April.


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