8:58pm: Karl was opposed to firing Walberg, but will be able to appoint his successor, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Divac said the team may hire a defensive coach. He added that a roster shakeup is still possible before Thursday’s trade deadline (Twitter link).
Divac plans to make at least one roster move Thursday, and actually expected it to happen today, tweets James Ham of CSNBayArea. Divac also emphasized that he is performing the organization’s GM duties (Twitter link).
8:08pm: The Kings have fired assistant coach Vance Walberg, tweets Chris Mannix of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. Sacramento was expected to dismiss head coach George Karl last week, but decided to keep him in place for now, so a staff shakeup wasn’t a surprise, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.
“This was a tough decision made after consideration of what is best for the team moving forward,” said GM Vlade Divac in the team’s formal announcement of the move. “We want to thank Vance for his contributions to the organization and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
Walberg, who had been on the Kings’ bench since last February, was a “scapegoat” for the team’s failure, tweets Chris Haynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Haynes charges that the coaching staff has been subject to as much “turmoil” and “dysfunction” as the rest of the organization. Sacramento entered the All-Star break at 22-31, four and a half games out of the last playoff spot in the West.
Walberg started his NBA career as an assistant to Karl in Denver in 2012. He also served as an assistant with the Sixers before joining the Kings.