This article is the final part of the two part Photoshop essay series matching NBA coaches with the notable artists they remind us of in deed, temperament, style or life story. In the earlier segment, Artists of Coaching, Part I, we saw Red Auerbach lead off as the great Leonardo DaVinci followed by Pat Riley with Picasso cool, Doc Rivers with Romaire Bearden skills, Phil Jackson with Andy Warhol career and impact and Mike D'Antoni with the energy of Jackson Pollack.
In this part, we take a look at Greg Popovich, Stan Van Gundy, Don Nelson, George Karl and Jerry Sloan. Certainly, you can see Don Nelson as wacky Salvadore Dali and Stan Van Gundy as the melancholy Vincent Van Gogh. Enjoy and let us know what artists your fave coaches remind you of.
6. George Karl does it like Renoir
Imagine Carl presenting players(Chauncey above, Lawson below) as Renoir paintings instead of numbered jerseys!
George Karl admits that he coaches to his personality – assertive and impatient. In coaching over 1600 games, including a sixth game elimination loss in the 1996 NBA Championships to Michael Jordan’s (and Phil Jackson’s) Bulls, Karl has preferred the up-tempo offense flowing from defensive pressure – although it usually seemed his teams were defenseless. His impatience and aggression is reminiscent of the work and style of famed impressionist Pierre August-Renior, who was known to create many works in a short time-span.
A description of Renoir’s work easily reads like a description of Karl’s coaching style (notes added): “Renoir's paintings Karl’s offense and commentary are notable for their vibrant light and saturated color, most often focusing on people in intimate and candid compositions [remember his comments about new NBA coaches who never coached and his honest love – not – for Isiah Thomas]. The female nude was one of his primary subjects. [I know nothing about Karl and nudes]. In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir Karl suggested the details of a scene play through freely brushed touches of color, so that his figures offensive and defensive sets softly fuse with one another and their surroundings.”
Renior, who was prolific (like Karl) in painting thousands of pictures, at one point in his career rejected impressionism and began to mix his style with the classical technique in 18th century art. He concentrated more on realism and details and the distinctions between people and other elements in the painting. Similarly for this coach, the rise of Carmelo Anthony has encouraged the basketball artist in Karl to return to more classical notions of the distinction between offense and defense. In other words, you can now see his teams play more defense.
Karl had Moe but Renoir had Monet. Another curious parallel is the degree to which Renoir’s professional relationship with Claude Monet mirrors Karl’s relationship with Doug Moe. Back in the day, Renoir and Monet, another famed impressionist, would stand side-by-side and paint the same scene. Doug Moe, another former Denver Nugget coach who is also known for his run and gun offense, is currently an assistant coach on the sideline with Karl.