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George Karl joins the 1,000-win club

Dec 10, 2010, 10:55 PM EDT

New York Knicks v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

The last time George Karl coached a team with a losing record, Notre Dame was the undefeated national champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series and the Democrats thought it was a good idea to nominate Michael Dukakis for president of the United States.

Karl has coached a long time and won in a lot of places – including a couple years with Real Madrid — and that came to a head on Friday night when he picked up career win number 1,000 as the Nuggets beat the Raptors 123-116 in Toronto.

Karl’s biggest win was getting back to the bench this season after missing the second half of last season to fight throat cancer.

Karl has had teams that were fun to watch — that played with pace but could defend (usually). There were no gimmicks, no superstar collections of talent (although he has had and now has some very good teams), just honest straightforward smart coaching.

Karl is the seventh member of the 1,000-win club, joining Lenny Wilkens, Don Nelson, Larry Brown, Pat Riley, Jerry Sloan and Phil Jackson.

Congrats to Karl, a milestone well deserved.

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