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George Karl having fun watching Broncos and Tim Tebow

Nuggets coach compares unconventional QB to Ben Wallace

When it comes to football, Nuggets coach George Karl bleeds black and yellow. But even the die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan is enjoying Tebow Mania.

Karl weighed in on the Tim Tebow phenomenon Monday, less than 24 hours after the Denver Broncos quarterback led his team to an improbable 13-10 come-from-behind overtime victory against the Chicago Bears.

Denver scored 10 points in the game’s final 2:08 to force overtime and improved to 7-1 with Tebow as the starter this season.

“That was pretty incredible,” Karl said. “As soon as they tied the game, I knew they were going to win. I’m just happy for the energy of the city – the city is pumped. I’m kind of into coaches who take out-of-the-box chances. And it seems like they’re having fun with it, that they’re enjoying it. There’s a juice.”

Tebow isn’t a conventional NFL quarterback, and Karl compared him to NBA big man Ben Wallace, an undersized center who won four Defensive Player of the Year awards and helped the Detroit Pistons capture the 2003-04 NBA championship.

“I’ve always felt leadership by words is overrated,” Karl said. “Leadership by example and approach and attitude is what people follow. Passion and enthusiasm is contagious. There’s an energy that comes with that. (Tebow’s) a guy who believes in himself. He has a spiritual believe that is obvious. That stuff is somewhat contagious.”

As for his own team, Karl praised the 11 players who pushed through yet another tough practice Monday.

“I’ll be honest with you, I was anticipating a sluggish practice,” he said. “But the guys hung in there and we got something done. Four days in, we’re a better basketball team than we were four days ago. We’ve got young players and at times it’s gets kind of ugly, but we feel like we’re getting close.”