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George Karl Fires Back At Josh Kroenke About Being Fired As Nuggets Coach

George Karl believes the decision to fire him after a 57-win season is "extremely disrespectful to coaching."(Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)  Read more:George Karl fires back at Josh Kroenke about being fired as Nuggets coach - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_23454878/george-karl-fires-back-at-josh-kroenke-nuggets#ixzz2WUyLUDqu Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse Follow us:@Denverpost on Twitter|Denverpost on Facebook

George Karl believes the decision to fire him after a 57-win season is “extremely disrespectful to coaching.”(Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)
Read more:George Karl fires back at Josh Kroenke about being fired as Nuggets coach – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_23454878/george-karl-fires-back-at-josh-kroenke-nuggets#ixzz2WUyLUDqu
Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
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Upon being fired last week, Nuggets coach George Karl told team president Josh Kroenke, “I think I should tell you, I think it’s very stupid.”

The controversial firing of the reigning NBA coach of the year has led to much debate in Denver. On Thursday afternoon, Karl sat down with The Denver Post and discussed an array of topics, including his firing, his future (possibly landing with the Memphis Grizzlies or the Los Angeles Clippers) and the future of the Nuggets, a team he believes could have won 55 games next season, even with Danilo Gallinari out for much of the season due to knee surgery.

“I’m not going to stand here and justify my (playoff) record,” Karl said, but he believed the franchise was on an upward tick, “and to blow that away, it leaves you helpless, speechless, powerless, sad, a lot of words.”

Following are excerpts from the interview.

Q: Can you explain the emotions of finishing third in the Western Conference and then being fired?

A: “We won 57 games and are in a great place. Continuity, consistency, togetherness all are so much more valuable than what they have on their priority list of playing JaVale McGee or the young players. And first of all, it shouldn’t be that I didn’t play young players. It’s I didn’t play young players enough, because we played a lot of young players — Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos, Evan Fournier at the end of the year, Ty Lawson. And, I never had a meeting where there was disappointment, in that part of it, voiced to me. I heard through whispers. I’m sorry that 57 wins doesn’t make you happy. I think it was a special season because of the connection this team has with each other and with the coaching staff and with the city. The fans like this team. The staff likes each other. And to blow up that connection is, in my opinion, extremely disrespectful to coaching.”

Q: Will you coach next season?

A: “I don’t know. I’m talking to Memphis and have had basically preliminary

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conversations with L.A. (Clippers) and Memphis. I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to happen this week. If there is, it’s going to be with someone else, it’s not going to be with me. … I want to coach three to four (years) at least. But I want to coach a good team. I don’t want to coach a rebuilding team.”

Q: Can you describe your relationship with the front office?

A: “What I’ve loved about being here is with (the different front office regimes) is I felt we were all equal. This year, after the trade deadline, all of a sudden, I felt like Masai (Ujiri, the general manager) and Josh were over here, and I didn’t feel very equal.”

Q: What does “feel equal” mean?

A: “In the past, Stan (Kroenke, the team owner) would listen to all of us. I know I can be fired and the voices behind closed doors can be against me. But this year, I just felt that at the end, for a team that had so much success, unity and karma, I felt that Masai and Josh drifted into a direction that was difficult to understand.”

Q: What’s an example of that?

A: “It’s hard to say. It’s just communication, them getting mad about what I said in the paper more often than makes sense. Snippy texts about things. The whole thing it comes down to — you’ve got a great coaching staff, a coach who loves coaching the team, a city that loves the team.” (Karl gently pounds the table.)

Q: Can you describe your desire for a contract extension, heading into the last year of your contract?

A: “I didn’t demand an extension. I said to Josh, ‘I will coach this team next year, I’m excited about coaching this team next year, but in the last year of a contract, there are things that could happen.’ I didn’t say they would happen, I said they could happen. I said I didn’t think I deserved a three-year extension, but it’s a signed contract (with an option), so let’s compromise. I don’t think I deserved to get my option picked up, even if we won in the first round (of the playoffs), but there’s a middle ground. The thing that annoys me every day still is the fun connection we have with this team. They think they can unplug us and plug somebody else in, and I’m going, ‘Wow, that is not respectful of the coaching profession.’ ”

Q: Looking back, is there any way to have regrets about not playing McGee major minutes, knowing that they paid him big money?

A: “I’m sorry, I’ve never had management tell me that money’s important (for playing time). Every team I’ve ever coached, it was, ‘It’s your job to distribute minutes.’ I think JaVale built a foundation that next year is going to be very good with him. I don’t think our relationship was in a bad place. It wasn’t in a great place, but it wasn’t in a bad place. … I felt pretty good that JaVale, with a good summer with us, probably would have been the starter next year. But, in the same sense, I don’t think JaVale and Kenneth fit. They have similar limitations. I still think having a passing point guard for JaVale, like Andre Miller, is an asset.”

http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_23454878/george-karl-fires-back-at-josh-kroenke-nuggets

           Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294, bhochman@denverpost.com ortwitter.com/nuggetsnews

REAL ESTATE: Inland Home Equity is Catching Up

  More Inland homes are emerging from "under water" status thanks to rising property values.

More Inland homes are emerging from “under water” status thanks to rising property values.

Rising home values during the first three months of 2013 helped thousands of Inland Southern California get caught up — at least somewhat — in the pursuit of equity on their homes, a report released this week found.

The number of homeowners in Riverside and San Bernardino counties with mortgage balances higher than the home’s value declined by more than 36,500 in the first three months of 2013, according to a report released Wednesday, June 12, by CoreLogic, an Irvine-based residential property research firm. The percentage of upside-down residences dropped from 35.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 31.4 percent.

That change means the Inland area is no longer one of the nation’s centerpieces of negative equity. At the end of last year, the area had the fifth-highest percentage of mortgages that were greater than the home’s market value, but the Inland Empire is no longer on the top-five list.

It does not, however, mean property owners have a significant amount of extra financial wiggle-room. More than 30,000 are barely in the black on their mortgages, meaning they’re not in a position to refinance or otherwise use the equity.

For most homeowners, this will be feel-good news that will mostly offer psychological benefits and some peace of mind, said Linda Itzen, a longtime Riverside-based financial planner with Ameriprise Financial.

“I’m finding more people who are breathing a sigh of relief that maybe they’re breaking even,” Itzen said. “But I don’t see a rush or any big desire to sell and buy up.”

Itzen added that the trend could entice some homeowners who have been renting their properties to sell if they are tired of the expense and responsibilities that come with being a landlord.

CoreLogic reported 294,132 Inland properties with upside-down mortgages in the fourth quarter of 2012. That number was down to 257,595 in the first quarter.

Residential property values have risen steadily for more than a year. Earlier this week, real estate information network DataQuick reported that the median sales price in San Bernardino County in May was up 28 percent from a year ago and up almost 23 percent in Riverside County. That adds up to an estimated $46,000 in equity growth for Inland homeowners in the past 12 months.

Economist John Husing pointed out that during the worst months of the recession in late 2009, almost 55 percent of all Inland homeowners with mortgages were under water, and that number was still close to 50 percent as recently as 2011. The declining numbers mean it’s less likely homeowners will abandon homes and turn Inland communities into eyesores.

Husing said he was concerned that many Inland homes on the sales market are being snapped up by outside investors who do not have a stake in the community. He said the rising home valuations could convince families that the time to get into the market has arrived.

Also, interest rates for mortgages have increased for three straight weeks and are now just below 4 percent for a 30-year loan.

“I think buyers are beginning to understand that prices are moving,” Husing said. “They could be thinking, ‘Oh my god, I’d better get in there.’ ”

Nationally some 9.7 million mortgages, slightly less than 20 percent, had higher balances than the home’s value in the first quarter. The cities with the highest percentages of underwater houses were Tampa-St. Petersburg, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Warren, Mich., CoreLogic reported.

Rising home values during the first three months of 2013 helped thousands of Inland Southern California get caught up — at least somewhat — in the pursuit of equity on their homes, a report released this week found.

The number of homeowners in Riverside and San Bernardino counties with mortgage balances higher than the home’s value declined by more than 36,500 in the first three months of 2013, according to a report released Wednesday, June 12, by CoreLogic, an Irvine-based residential property research firm. The percentage of upside-down residences dropped from 35.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 31.4 percent.

That change means the Inland area is no longer one of the nation’s centerpieces of negative equity. At the end of last year, the area had the fifth-highest percentage of mortgages that were greater than the home’s market value, but the Inland Empire is no longer on the top-five list.

It does not, however, mean property owners have a significant amount of extra financial wiggle-room. More than 30,000 are barely in the black on their mortgages, meaning they’re not in a position to refinance or otherwise use the equity.

For most homeowners, this will be feel-good news that will mostly offer psychological benefits and some peace of mind, said Linda Itzen, a longtime Riverside-based financial planner with Ameriprise Financial.

“I’m finding more people who are breathing a sigh of relief that maybe they’re breaking even,” Itzen said. “But I don’t see a rush or any big desire to sell and buy up.”

Itzen added that the trend could entice some homeowners who have been renting their properties to sell if they are tired of the expense and responsibilities that come with being a landlord.

CoreLogic reported 294,132 Inland properties with upside-down mortgages in the fourth quarter of 2012. That number was down to 257,595 in the first quarter.

Residential property values have risen steadily for more than a year. Earlier this week, real estate information network DataQuick reported that the median sales price in San Bernardino County in May was up 28 percent from a year ago and up almost 23 percent in Riverside County. That adds up to an estimated $46,000 in equity growth for Inland homeowners in the past 12 months.

Economist John Husing pointed out that during the worst months of the recession in late 2009, almost 55 percent of all Inland homeowners with mortgages were under water, and that number was still close to 50 percent as recently as 2011. The declining numbers mean it’s less likely homeowners will abandon homes and turn Inland communities into eyesores.

Husing said he was concerned that many Inland homes on the sales market are being snapped up by outside investors who do not have a stake in the community. He said the rising home valuations could convince families that the time to get into the market has arrived.

Also, interest rates for mortgages have increased for three straight weeks and are now just below 4 percent for a 30-year loan.

“I think buyers are beginning to understand that prices are moving,” Husing said. “They could be thinking, ‘Oh my god, I’d better get in there.’ ”

Nationally some 9.7 million mortgages, slightly less than 20 percent, had higher balances than the home’s value in the first quarter. The cities with the highest percentages of underwater houses were Tampa-St. Petersburg, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Warren, Mich., CoreLogic reported.

Rising home values during the first three months of 2013 helped thousands of Inland Southern California get caught up — at least somewhat — in the pursuit of equity on their homes, a report released this week found.

The number of homeowners in Riverside and San Bernardino counties with mortgage balances higher than the home’s value declined by more than 36,500 in the first three months of 2013, according to a report released Wednesday, June 12, by CoreLogic, an Irvine-based residential property research firm. The percentage of upside-down residences dropped from 35.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 31.4 percent.

That change means the Inland area is no longer one of the nation’s centerpieces of negative equity. At the end of last year, the area had the fifth-highest percentage of mortgages that were greater than the home’s market value, but the Inland Empire is no longer on the top-five list.

It does not, however, mean property owners have a significant amount of extra financial wiggle-room. More than 30,000 are barely in the black on their mortgages, meaning they’re not in a position to refinance or otherwise use the equity.

For most homeowners, this will be feel-good news that will mostly offer psychological benefits and some peace of mind, said Linda Itzen, a longtime Riverside-based financial planner with Ameriprise Financial.

“I’m finding more people who are breathing a sigh of relief that maybe they’re breaking even,” Itzen said. “But I don’t see a rush or any big desire to sell and buy up.”

Itzen added that the trend could entice some homeowners who have been renting their properties to sell if they are tired of the expense and responsibilities that come with being a landlord.

CoreLogic reported 294,132 Inland properties with upside-down mortgages in the fourth quarter of 2012. That number was down to 257,595 in the first quarter.

Residential property values have risen steadily for more than a year. Earlier this week, real estate information network DataQuick reported that the median sales price in San Bernardino County in May was up 28 percent from a year ago and up almost 23 percent in Riverside County. That adds up to an estimated $46,000 in equity growth for Inland homeowners in the past 12 months.

Economist John Husing pointed out that during the worst months of the recession in late 2009, almost 55 percent of all Inland homeowners with mortgages were under water, and that number was still close to 50 percent as recently as 2011. The declining numbers mean it’s less likely homeowners will abandon homes and turn Inland communities into eyesores.

Husing said he was concerned that many Inland homes on the sales market are being snapped up by outside investors who do not have a stake in the community. He said the rising home valuations could convince families that the time to get into the market has arrived.

Also, interest rates for mortgages have increased for three straight weeks and are now just below 4 percent for a 30-year loan.

“I think buyers are beginning to understand that prices are moving,” Husing said. “They could be thinking, ‘Oh my god, I’d better get in there.’ ”

Nationally some 9.7 million mortgages, slightly less than 20 percent, had higher balances than the home’s value in the first quarter. The cities with the highest percentages of underwater houses were Tampa-St. Petersburg, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Warren, Mich., CoreLogic reported.

CALIFORNIA BUDGET: Better-off schools will get help, too

Terry Pierson/The Press-Enterprise  Gov. Jerry Brown speaks in Susan Cummins' 4th grade class at Arlanza Elementary School in Riverside in 2011.

Terry Pierson/The Press-Enterprise
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks in Susan Cummins’ 4th grade class at Arlanza Elementary School in Riverside in 2011.

SACRAMENTO — A compromise school-funding formula at the heart of this week’s state budget deal includes more money for suburban and wealthier districts, addressing complaints that an earlier Brown administration plan was unfair.

There will still be extra money targeted at English learners, students receiving free meals, and foster children. But it will comprise a smaller piece of the funding pie than what Brown wanted when he warned his plan’s critics in April that they were in for “the battle of their lives.”

“It’s an improvement, definitely, but we’re still waiting to get all of the details,” said Lori Ordway-Peck, assistant superintendent for business support services at Temecula Valley Unified School District, where officials had raised concerns about the Local Control Funding Formula the governor unveiled in January.

Supporters say the compromise plan will increase funding for schools by about $23 billion over eight years, making up for past cuts while simplifying the state’s school-funding system and helping disadvantaged students close the achievement gap.

Under this week’s agreement, more money will go into base grants for all pupils. The Temecula district, for example, would get a per-pupil increase of more than $3,000, to about $9,400, by 2020-21, according to Department of Finance estimates.

Brown’s formula would have phased in a year earlier, which prevents direct comparisons to the compromise plan.

In seven years, though, Temecula Valley’s per-pupil funding would have increased by only $2,100, based on February estimates by the finance department.

Stacy Coleman, assistant superintendent for business services for the Murrieta Valley Unified School District, said he’s also waiting for more specifics on the proposal.

Murrieta Valley, where about a third of the students are disadvantaged, would receive about $3,000 more in per-pupil funding, to $9,500, by 2020-21. The governor’s earlier plan estimated that the district would receive $9,000 by 2019-20.

Additional base funding is good, Coleman said. He cautioned, though, that the additions could come at the expense of cuts elsewhere. The final result may not be much gain over what the district had expected under existing law, he said.

Disadvantaged districts

Inland districts with large percentages of disadvantaged students, such as Fontana Unified, San Bernardino City Unified and Val Verde Unified, would get almost twice as much in per-pupil funding by the time this week’s compromise takes full effect.

Dale Marsden, superintendent of San Bernardino City Unified, said the compromise formula is just as good for his district as the governor’s January proposal.

“There are no losers,” Marsden said. “Everybody’s base has gone up. But we still have a long way to go.”

This week’s agreement includes “supplemental” payments to districts. Those will be equal to 20 percent of the base grant for every disadvantaged student. Brown had wanted 35 percent.

And districts will qualify for extra “concentration” funding when 55 percent of their students are disadvantaged, up from a 50-percent threshold in the governor’s approach.

Some districts also will get an “economic recovery payment” to restore them to 2007-08 revenue levels.

“What we have here is a final agreement that has the same essential architecture as the governor’s proposal, with some changes,” Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer said Wednesday.

Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, whose district includes the Fontana and San Bernardino districts, was an early backer of the governor’s plan.

“I’m here with members who are from suburbia,” Brown, D-San Bernardino, said. “They were really concerned they were being short-changed. The way this has turned out, no one is short-changed. Those who need more, will get more.”

Governor’s plan

Some Inland school officials, though, said the governor’s plan would have been better for districts with mid-range percentages of disadvantaged students.

Mike Fine, Riverside Unified’s deputy superintendent for business services, said the district will receive about $1,000 less per pupil in supplemental money under the compromise. About two-thirds of the district’s 40,000 pupils are disadvantaged.

Brown’s acceptance of this week’s deal, Fine said, “was a little shocking to me. I think it goes against some of the governor’s principles.”

The approach to distribute the concentration money, Fine added, fails to recognize that some districts — such as Riverside Unified and Corona-Norco Unified — are short of the 55 percent threshold but have schools that meet it. Senate Democrats had voiced similar complaints about the governor’s plan but signed on to the compromise.

Assembly President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, praised the agreement. It gets more money to all districts, he said, while maintaining the essence of the governor’s “progressive proposal.”

BY JIM MILLER AND

MICHELLE KLAMPESTAFF WRITERS

June 12, 2013