Photo Credit: CSNNW Twitter

Photo Credit: CSNNW Twitter

Former NBA coach George Karl continues to throw shots at players ahead of the release of his memoir, “Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs and Poor Shot Selection.”  This time, however, he’s criticizing a player he never coached, Damian Lillard.

In a Q&A with New York Magazine, Karl went after Lillard, the Trail Blazers’ All-Star, on the topic of being irritated with player branding and off-the-court endeavors.

What happened?

I was watching the Portland Trailblazers play, and I was trying to figure out, What the hell is wrong with this team? My conclusion is that Damian Lillard is getting too much attention.

What makes you think that?

Who controls the team? The coach and the point guard. And that team is not working. I think their coach, Terry Stotts, is a great coach. So I’m going to say the problem is Lillard. They were a together, connected, committed team last year. This year they’re not. What changed?

Lillard has endorsement deals with Adidas, State Farm insurance, and JBL headphones.  He also moonlights as a rapper and recently dropped his first album, “The Letter O.”

Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts checked Karl for his comments about Lillard.

“I owe a lot to George. I got my start in coaching with George. I wouldn’t be here if not for him,” Stotts said before Wednesday night’s 102-89 win over Karl’s former team, the Sacramento Kings. “But when it comes to my team and my players, he needs to stay in his own lane.

“He doesn’t know Damian Lillard. He doesn’t know how coachable he is. He doesn’t know what a great teammate he is. He doesn’t know how much Damian cares about winning and how important he is to this franchise. I thought his comments, however well intended they may have been — which I can’t understand — I can’t tolerate.”

“He’s a successful coach,” Stotts said of Karl. “That being said, if he wants to diminish his chances for the Hall of Fame, if he wants to undermine his chances of being a head coach again in this league, if he wants to settle old scores with GMs or players or whoever else, that’s his prerogative.”

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