George Karl has a pretty interesting parlor trick — and no, it’s not knowing what a parlor is, making everyone he’s around run really fast, an ability to kind of look like Gerald Ford or having three first names, though all of those things are true too. This trick, his extra special one, is extra special for a reason.
It’s called Seeing the Future and George Karl is really good at it. From the Denver Post:
At the Nuggets’ pregame shootaround Monday, this exchange happened between coach George Karl and some local TV guy.
TV guy: “You scored 64 points in the paint in the Bulls game in Denver. I wouldn’t expect you to get that here at the United Center, would you?”
Karl: “Wanna make a bet?”
Sure enough, Denver scored 64 in regulation time and finished with 68 in its 119-118 overtime victory over the Bulls.
Whoa. I think we have found a glitch in the Matrix. How is this even possible?
Just look at the stats, man. Yeah, the Nuggets lead the league in points in the paint per game, but their league-leading total is only 57.8. Furthermore, the Bulls give up the fifth-fewest points in the paint per game, allowing just 39.0 a game. Not to mention, when you mix the Nuggets’ second-fastest pace with the Bulls’ fourth-slowest, you’d think you’d fall somewhere in the middle where Denver’s offensive stats likely wouldn’t top their averages. Oh, and the Bulls boast one of the league’s top Defensive Player of the Year candidates as their center. Oh, and that center plays the 10th most minutes per game in the entire league.
Given all that, how was George Karl able to predict exactly how many points the Nuggets would score in the paint during regulation? Is he a psychic? Is he a time-traveler? Was this game fixed? Is the question mark the best punctuation mark? There are a lot of questions to be answered and not a whole bunch of easy answers to be had. But if we ever see George Karl wearing Bruce Willis makeup, we’ll know the story.
AND SO WILL HE.