George Karl reportedly voted into Basketball Hall of Fame

By R.L. Bynum

NEW ORLEANS — George Karl, a star UNC point guard in the early-1970s who coached in the NBA for 27 seasons, will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the 2022 class, according to a report.

Shams Charania, a reporter for The Athletic, tweeted Thursday evening that his sources say Karl will be inducted. The class will be officially announced at noon Saturday in New Orleans (to air on ESPN2), where there will be a press conference at 1:30 p.m.

The enshrinement ceremony will be Sept. 9 in Springfield, Mass.

Karl, one of the best playmakers in program history, would be the 12th Tar Heel in the Hall of Fame, joining coaches Ben Carnevale, Frank McGuire, Dean Smith, Larry Brown and Roy Williams and players Billy Cunningham, Bob McAdoo, James Worthy, Michael Jordan, Charlie Scott and Bobby Jones (who was the last inductee in 2019).

Photo via UNC media guide

Karl was the Tar Heels’ starting point guard all three of his seasons in Chapel Hill, leading them to an NIT title in 1971, the Final Four in 1972 and the NIT semifinals in 1973, making All-ACC as a senior.

It was on the road to that 1971 NIT title that Carolina beat Duke in the semifinals in the only postseason game between the rivals outside of the ACC tournament before Saturday’s matchup in the Final Four.

He played five seasons for the San Antonio Spurs, their last three as an ABA franchise and their first two as an NBA franchise.

Karl is one of 10 coaches in NBA history with 1,000 victories. He was 1,175–824 (58.8%), ranking sixth all-time in NBA wins with 12 seasons of at least 50 victories and three seasons of at least 60.

Karl coached the Cleveland Cavaliers (1984–86), the Golden State Warriors (1986–88), the Seattle Supersonics (1992–98), the Milwaukee Bucks (1998–2003), Denver (2005–13) and the Sacramento Kings (2015–16).

Karl guided five franchises to a total of 22 playoff appearances, leading the Sonics to the NBA Finals (1996), was named the NBA Coach of the Year with Denver (2013) and was an All-Star Game head coach four times (1994, 1996, 1998 and 2010).

Karl averaged 12.3 points per game in leading Carolina to a 26–6 season and the NIT title his sophomore season, then averaged 11.7 points as a junior on the 29–5 Final Four team.

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