We are 10 days away from the February 21 NBA trade deadline and while things seem relatively quiet now, they are sure to pick up in the next couple of days.
This has to be a nerve-racking time for players, coaches, general managers and everybody else involved. Players could have to move to a completely new city at the drop of a hat, and (with the exception of a few players with trade veto capability) there is nothing they can do about it.
During this high-stress stretch of the NBA season, Denver Nuggets coach George Karl does what he can to try and keep his players at peace, telling them it is really out of their hands.
"There's this solid anxiety to this period of time for players," Karl said. "So, how I can calm that and make them feel like, 'Yeah, a trade could happen, but it's a small, small percentage.'"
It is not much, but I am sure any attempt at consolation goes a long way.
Karl has also learned over the years to try as hard as he can to avoid the media as the trade deadline approaches because he is forced to tell “fibs and lies.” He cannot go spouting off to the media every trade that is being considered by his team. That would just cause chaos.
However, Karl did admit to having a little competition with his fellow coaches about who could get an unbelievable rumor to the media first.
"We make up some trade that never was proposed in 100 years and suddenly it's on ESPN," Karl said, smiling.
While that is a fun way to mess with the media, Karl says he has given up the role of prankster and has not tried that in seven or eight years.
As a veteran coach, I am sure George Karl is better at dealing with the impending trade deadline than some of his peers. But on the bright side, it is only 10 more days. Then it is time to start making the push to the playoffs.
Image: Sporting News