The team started out 9-5, then Demarcus Cousins missed 10 games with a viral meningitis. They fired coach Mike Malone with an 11-13 record in a move that was widely criticized around the league. Their reasons for firing him was they didn’t approve of his style of play. They wanted a more upbeat style, similar to the Warriors. They gave the job to assistant Tyrone Corbin, who has previous coaching experience in Utah. The team had bought into Malone’s style and while Malone made mistakes of his own, they lost several close games where late game play calling was an issue, they were playing better defense and were one of the league’s early surprises.
After Malone was fired, George Karl’s name kept coming up as a replacement. Karl was fired from the Denver Nuggets after the 2013 season and is eager to get back into coaching. Malone indicated he was interested in the job. At the time the Kings decided to make Corbin the coach for the rest of the season. The thought behind that being that they had no realistic chance for a playoff berth and they would play out the season and then hire a new coach at the end of the season from a larger pool of assistant coaches and coaches who may be fired. The Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro went on the Kings radio network and defended firing Malone and giving Corbin the job. He fielded questions from the audience and radio callers who were all very critical of the GM. Kings fans have been pining for the team to hire Karl. Under Corbin the team is 6-18 and has lost 10 of their last 11. They have been down by at least 20 points in 7 of the last 8 games. The team isn’t playing hard, frustration is setting in with the team and the fans. Fans are leaving the games early. Season ticket renewal time is taking place right now and the team is pressuring season ticket holders to renew during the worst possible time.
After saying Corbin would the the coach the rest of the year, there are rumors that a change may take place during the All Star Break and that talks with George Karl are heating up. Hiring Karl now may be a good move. it would have been a better move after firing Malone, because at least then they would have had a plan. Hiring Karl now with only 34 games left in a lost season is a desperation move to appease the fans and possibly the players who have given up playing hard. Management completely underestimated the impact Malone had on the team and the fans. Hiring Karl now would be an admission they really had no idea what they were doing back in December and in the time since then. Karl is a winning coach and has done so everywhere he’s been but he also has some baggage and there is concern over how he and Cousins get along. Cousin is the franchise player and one of the best big men in the NBA. They had better make sure Karl understands that coming in. Cousins has made a lot of strides this year in improving his game and behavior on the court. His technical fouls are way down. Frustration is very evident though in his facial expressions and post game comments. Whatever the team does, it better be right. They don’t want to move into their new arena in 2016 with a lousy team and star player who wants out.
Yeah it’s pretty ugly right now. I think they have to know they made a mistake. The thought was Karl would be available at the end of the year including possibly some other coaches (like Scott Brooks – gee, where have we seen him before?). Apparently, Orlando has been sniffing around Karl as well so they may need to move now. Apparently, the slowdown is in the $4M Karl wants. Sorry Vivek, let’s call that your penalty for the dumb decision you made in dumping Malone. There also was a rumor of bringing Malone back.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, they have for this team. They handled the Malone firing badly in addition to just plain screwing up. But now they are in talks to hire another coach while they still have a coach they said would coach the rest of the year. All this is playing out publicly and the players don’t know what’s going on. I don’t think you can block out this distraction. It seems like they are going after Karl because maybe Orlando is. The Kings had pretty exclusive rights to get Karl the past 6 weeks because they were the only team with a vacancy and didn’t hire him. Now they want to rush it because they might lose him? There are all kinds of reports out that Cousins’ agent is blocking it and that Kings minority owners are not happy with hiring Karl. Cousins denied that after the game. As one reporter said after the game, if they really cared what Cousins thought they would have never fired Malone because he loved Malone. Meanwhile they still have games to play. Corbin is still the coach and they played awful again last night and have lost 11 of 12. Rudy Gay looks to have thrown in the towel at this point. He looks like he doesn’t even want to be out there. Even the talk show hosts on KHTK are being very critical of the Kings management. Napear never said a bad word about the Maloofs, but even he has been critical of the management decision on his talk show. The morning show guys and the mid day guys are too. Have to wonder how long before the Kings owners pressure the station to keep their guys quiet. That’s what the Maloofs did.
I personally hope the Kings get it together.
As far as the players go, there’s no real excuse to “give up” (if that’s the case). The comparison I’m going to make is leaps and bounds in different categories, but when I played city league basketball, we didn’t so much rely on the coach, we relied on each other as a team. Coaches help us players see and realize on-court activity we don’t have “time” to focus on while in play. Of course, that’s not all they do, but one aspect I’ve found important in a successful team. It’s easier said than done, but with a lacking-coach, I believe the team can still be competitive.
on a side note, I’m very sad that Kings are almost exclusive to Comcast Sports channel. Makes OTA viewers like me miss out on a lot of on-court action.
The Kings have officially hired George Karl as their coach after this public courting while they still had a coach, Tyrone Corbin, in place. I don’t think they could have bungled these past 2 months any worse if they tried. Karl is definitely a step up and has won everywhere he went. Question is why not hire him in December? Or keep the interim tag on Corbin. They specifically said Corbin was the guy for the rest of the season.
I wonder how long he will last? Kings have definitely bungled their coaching situation and it will be hard to recruit a good coach after Karl leaves. I’m sure a lot of Kings fans are disappointed as well. All that hope and optimism…
I’m not a huge basketball fan but I was ready to go all in on the Kings. Now I’m back on the Warriers bandwagon.
Karl is 63. He’s no spring chicken. He is signed to a 4 year deal. They have some talent. They proved that at the beginning of the year. They lost a few games early that could have been partly blamed on Malone and his coaching. They had two 20 point leads they blew and then some games they should have won. Instead of being 9-5, they could have been 11-3 easily.
You should stay on the Warriors bandwagon. They are good team. We saw them last week against the Kings and they are a team with so many shooters. Curry and Thompson didn’t really go off, but everyone else was making shots. Doesn’t help that the Kings play lousy defense. Only I wonder about them is the playoffs are different than the regular season and it’s more slow it down and play defense. I think the Spurs, Grizzlies and Thunder will give them a tough series.
I’ll follow the Warriors right up until the start of Spring Training. Then I’ll be too busy watching Baseball to see how it all ends. Maybe I’ll read about it someday.
Kings got their coach and he got his first win last night with the Kings. They played a little sloppy, but they played with an energy not seen since Malone was fired. It will not be all roses for the team, but they now at least have a legitimate NBA coach. If Cousins buys in, Karl will turn him into one of the best players in the NBA. He has the potential to be the best Kings player in the Sacramento era. Better than Webber. He’s a better rebounder and better low post game. Webber was a great passer and better outside shooter. The trade for Andre Miller in exchange for Ramon Sessions was a steal. Sessions sucked. Miller is a veteran, great passer and he knows Karl and his system from playing with him in Denver. Kings had 30 games left before last night. If they can win half the rest of the way, that would be a huge accomplishment going into the final season at the old arena.
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