George Karl calls Festus Ezeli an 'a--hole'
George Karl on Wednesday said Warriors center Festus Ezeli had "really blossomed into an elbow and a--hole guy." (USA TODAY IMAGES)
The verbal barbs between Nuggets coach George Karl and Warriors coach Mark Jackson continued Thursday morning when Jackson responded to comments from Karl about Warriors rookie center Festus Ezeli.
Karl, on Wednesday, said Ezeli had "really blossomed into an elbow and a--hole guy." The phrase, which can be used to mean a hard worker or someone who stays busy, didn't sit well with Jackson.
After congratulating Kenneth Faried on his NBA Citizen of the Year award, Jackson, unprompted, transitioned into a response to Karl.
"I will not call one of their players an elbow-throwing blank. That won't happen," he said. "I have respect for each and every one of them including Coach Karl."
Considering Jackson worked with Karl at ESPN, was the comment surprising?
"Disrepectful. George will be a Hall-of-Fame coach. He's a heck of a coach. He's had tremendous success. He's done a great job this year. He has a very good basketball team," Jackson said. "That statement is disrespectful. I have a lot of respect for George Karl and the job that he's done and who he is. That statement was disrespectful. I wonder what he thinks of his players. The Kenyon Martins, the Kenneth Farieds, JaVale McGee, (Kosta) Koufos. I wonder what he thinks of those guys if they just go out and do their job."
When it was explained to Jackson that the phrase could have been taken out of context and that Karl might have been complimenting Ezeli, he didn't buy it.
"You just don't say that," Jackson said, "but more power to him."