Denver Nuggets coach George Karl has reportedly been diagnosed with neck and throat cancer, which will likely cause him to miss some games and practices while undergoing a rigorous treatment program.
Karl, who is also a survivor of prostate cancer, is expected to begin treatment immediately, in which he will undergo radiation and chemotherapy.
Karl spoke about his diagnosis and future on Tuesday night, surrounded by his team and members of the Nuggets organization.
“My desire is to do whatever I can to stay with my team throughout the treatment that I have to go through,” Karl said. “The treatment began today and in general it’s about a six-week treatment of radiation therapy and chemo therapy.
Karl admitted that he would likely miss a few games in the near future, and couldn’t commit to an exact amount, simply stating that assistant coach Adrian Dantley would take over in his absence.
“Basically, my belief is this is a championship team and I want to do anything and everything I can to help them continue in their quest that we all want.”
Karl has been adamant about Denver being a championship-caliber team ever since his Nuggets took the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers to six games in last year’s Western Conference Finals.
Cancer isn’t a new battle in the Karl family, as Coby Karl (George’s son) is also a cancer survivor.
“I think I’m very blessed to have a great family and an organization that has supported me through all this, and great friends and a great team. I will need all of them in different ways. I don’t think I’m a guy that needs sympathy but I do need support,” Karl said.
Karl has his Denver Nuggets at 35-18 and in prime position to make a serious run at the NBA Finals with 29 games remaining.