Nuggets’ Karl wants to return to the bench next season |

Nuggets’ Karl wants to return to the bench next season

Benjamin Hochman
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado
John Leyba, The Denver PostDenver Nuggets coach George Karl talks during an interview at his home in Denver. Karl was diagnosed with cancer which would sideline him undergo a rigorous six-week treatment program of radiation and chemotherapy. Karl missed the the team run at the playoffs which they were eliminated by Utah in the first round.

After surviving throat-and-neck cancer this spring – and two blood clot scares in recent weeks – Nuggets coach George Karl said Thursday he’s feeling better and plans to return to coaching next season.

“I’ll be excited to be back on the bench – that’s what I do, that’s the dream,” Karl said in an interview at his home.

Asked if there’s a chance he won’t return to the Nuggets’ bench, Karl said, “I don’t see that happening, but I am going to put my health first, and come next fall, if the doctors don’t feel it’s a wise thing and I don’t think it’s a wise thing, (then we’ll reevaluate). But my feeling is the exact opposite. We’re in a good place, the steps have been good, the tests have been good and I’ve just got to keep plugging away every day.”

Karl is still battling fatigue and numerous side effects of intense cancer treatment. He continues to feed himself through a tube, a scoop of ice cream or a peach notwithstanding. He continues to deal with excessive mucus in his mouth, takes numerous medicines and has bi-weekly blood tests and weekly doctor appointments.

But, in the past week, he has gone out in public, joining his family at restaurants, while also visiting Nuggets coaches at the Pepsi Center. The coach said he hopes to get into a routine in the next few weeks where he works half a day two or three times a week.

As for watching the Nuggets lose to Utah in the first round of the playoffs, Karl said, “The thing that killed me was the defense. We tried to win the game by out-shooting them. Because of that, we didn’t find that special toughness to beat a team like Utah.”

Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294 or

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