Finally, after all the drama, rumors, denied rumors, and stories, the Sacramento Kings plan to fire head coach George Karl on Thursday. The news was first reported by the Sacramento Bee, and then confirmed by Marc Stein of ESPN.
Via Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:
In some ways, a dismissal might be a relief to Karl, as communication between the coach and the front office has not been ideal. Divac fired one of Karl’s assistants, Vance Walberg, in February, and Divac stopped Karl from suspending Cousins in November after a locker room tirade.
Players were frustrated with Karl most of the season, and it showed on the court. They distrusted the coach’s defensive schemes and needed more direction on offense. Players also privately complained that Karl didn’t hold his stars accountable.
The front office wasn’t able to tinker with a roster in desperate need of help with perimeter defense, a glaring issue many could have predicted before the season.
The latest communication breakdown came this week when the front office did not tell Karl his top players weren’t going on the final trip.
The writing has been on the wall for a while now. DeMarcus Cousins made it known that Karl wasn’t very welcomed. Suspensions, subtweets, and emotional outbursts were enough to show everyone that Cousins would probably enjoy the idea of a new coach. Reports dating back to February said that Karl would be fired, and he even didn’t trust some of his own coaches because he thought they were only there as a sort of “spy” for the owner and front office.
Once again, this shows how much of a madhouse the ownership is in Sacramento. They had a perfect fit at coach in Mike Malone, but instead of trying to bring in players for him, they fired him. Enter George Karl, and an even bigger circus takes place. The team has been quite awful on the court going 44-67 during the Karl era. Their defense has been pitiful, and the fact that Cousins has stayed there is amazing.
Now, it’s up to the front office to find another coach. Maybe one that will be able to get through to Cousins like Malone did, but given their track record, that might be a little too optimistic.