December 9, 2015

ESPN, Here I Come

Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets - Game One

Hello again, ESPN.

Starting Sunday Oct. 20, I’ll be talking hoops on ESPN as an NBA studio analyst. I’m not looking forward to landing in Bristol when it’s 5-below, but I’m excited about the opportunity ahead. It gives me a forum to stay in the game and encourages me to be alert to the rhythm of the NBA. When you’re coaching to win a game, it’s totally different than observing the game from the outside. Hopefully I’ll enjoy the ride outside the game as much as I’ve enjoyed it inside the game.

This will be my second time working for ESPN. I spent more than a year with the network in 2003-04 before the Nuggets hired me as their coach in January of 2005. In the past eight years, the media universe has changed, but ESPN has survived and become the king of sports throughout the world. Their programming and the visualization are at a world-class level. They’ve taken this little campus in Bristol, Connecticut and turned it into the No. 1 sports broadcasting service in the world. I haven’t always agreed with some of their opinions, but I’ve always respected ESPN as an industry pioneer.

A lot of people ask me what my style will be in front of the camera. I basically want to serve the game in a positive way. I don’t think it’s productive to be controversial just for the sake of being controversial. I’ve always been known for not trying to hide the truth. Spinning is a popular angle that a lot of organizations and coaches use. That’s not my style. A lot of the things that are said in the locker room and happen within your team have to stay within the family, but I think spinning and hiding the truth aren’t always the best way to communicate with fans.

As much as I’m looking forward offering my insight to NBA fans on ESPN, my desire remains to coach again. The gym is always going to a place I love. Because of the good things we did in Denver, I know I want to get back to it someday soon.

Until then, I’m eager to share my thoughts and insights about the NBA with millions of ESPN viewers. I might be a little rusty at first, so be kind with your criticism.

— Coach Karl