George Karl interested in coaching

Current ESPN analyst George Karl confirmed Thursday that he's interested in a return to coaching after saying in an interview on SiriusXM Radio earlier in the day that he'd "like to get back in the gym."

"I'm enjoying my role at ESPN," Karl said in a statement. "I'd be interested in the right coaching opportunity, but I respect the coaching profession too much to become a distraction to the process."

Karl said in the SiriusXM interview that one of the vacant positions that intrigues him is with the Los Angeles Lakers, who are looking to replace Mike D'Antoni.

"Mitch Kupchak [Lakers general manager] and I were roommates in college and Mitch has been a very good friend of mine for years," Karl said on "Off The Dribble" on SiriusXM. "Have I talked to Mitch in the last couple of weeks? No, I haven't."

The Lakers have yet to reach out to Karl, a source told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne.

Fired after guiding the Denver Nuggets to 57 wins in 2012-13 while being named coach of the year, Karl said he likely would have a conversation with Kupchak about the job. He also thinks he's a candidate for other teams with openings. New York, Golden State, Detroit and Utah are looking for coaches.

"I would love the opportunity to probably talk to people, when they think I'm a person they should be talking to," said the 62-year-old Karl, who also has coached Milwaukee, Golden State, Cleveland and Seattle in his career.