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Kings Mull Firing George Karl

Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive and team executive Vlade Divac were livid enough after the team’s 128-119 loss to the Nets on Friday night, which was the team’s sixth defeat in its last seven outings, that they are strongly weighing firing coach George Karl, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports reports. A league source who was involved in discussions regarding the coach’s job status described the situation as, “An overreaction to the loss,” Wojnarowski adds. The momentum to fire Karl waned enough in the hours following Friday night’s defeat that he will likely be on the sideline for Sunday’s contest in Boston against the Celtics, according to the Vertical scribe.

Regardless of whether or not Karl is calling out sets on Sunday, the issue remains that the embattled coach has lost management’s support as well as some members of the team’s locker room, sources told Wojnarowski. Center DeMarcus Cousins seemingly called out the coaching staff for the team’s continued flaws on the defensive end after the loss to the Nets, telling reporters, “I’m not going to keep blaming these guys in the locker room. Energy and effort is a huge part of the game, but I’m not going to keep blaming it on that. We got a bigger issue, and we need to figure it out as a team. I’d rather keep [problems] in house, but we definitely have a bigger issue than just energy and effort. That can’t be the excuse every night. … We’re going to work it out as a team, and hopefully we can fix this.”

It was just under a year ago that Karl was hired to replace interim coach Tyrone Corbin, who had taken over for fired coach Michael Malone in December of 2014. Things have not gone smoothly during Karl’s tenure, with the coach and Cousins seemingly at odds from the very beginning of Karl’s time with the team. The franchise reportedly considered parting ways with Karl last June, mere months after signing him to a four year deal, because of his difficulties with Cousins and Divac. Firing Karl could cause issues with Sacramento’s ownership group as Ranadive has progressively lost the support and belief of the other owners after the past few years of instability within the organization, Wojnarowski notes.

The amount of guaranteed money still owed to Karl could factor into the front office’s decision-making regarding the coach, notes Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Karl is earning $3.25MM this season and he is owed $5MM for each of the next two campaigns, though his salary for 2017/18 is only partially guaranteed for $1.5MM.  If the team does make a coaching change, league sources have told Stein that assistant coach Nancy Lieberman would not be named interim coach, as had been rumored, but current assistant and former Kings player Corliss Williamson would be a possibility.

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17 thoughts on “Kings Mull Firing George Karl

  1. Steve in Chicago

    Hm.
    Let’s see.
    Cousins has been there through how many coaches and yet the result is always the same.
    I guess the priblem is that a certain HOF coach is incompetent, not the players, who by the way we’re hand picked by the general management.
    Yeah, it’s the coaches’ fault.

    • starlord

      there was never talent now there, besides cuz now there is.

      • Steve in Chicagp

        Other than Cousins and losing, what are the constants? Karl is a very successful coach. Cousins is and has been a loser. What right does he have to criticize the coach? If he paid attention he might learn something. Both of them have track records. Cousins’ is not the better one.

        • starlord

          wasting all their top 10 picks only players the sixers don’t even want.

  2. victor gonzales

    so they want to fire one of them best coaches of all time and replace them with someone on the staff a former player… seems like we have seen this before … since when did the players start running the team.

  3. starlord

    Karl’s player rotation is terrible.
    McLemore has a plus/minus rating of plus for the year and in 5 of the last 6 losses. Defense is the problem yet the promote belinelli into starting lineup??
    Collision is a good player but karl insists on player him at sg where he gets torched, collision has some of the worst defensive metrics in the league he can hold his own against pg’s. I think the problem is Karl hes trying to coach his style not work with players he has.
    he’s playing James Anderson. at the end of games their down they needs stops he’s got lineups that can’t play defense. They need 3’s at ends of games to catch up they best shooters casspi and McLemore are on the bench.
    I thought karl would be good, the NBA has changed he needs to make adjustments. Too much talent not to win. His love affair with belinelli is terrible McLemore destroys him in every offensive category and 100 x the defender. karl runs about 20 plays a game for bellinelli, 0 for Mac. team is built well. cuz and willie play well together rondo gels with these guys 12 apg. mac is a 3 and d player and Rudy is solid and can create one shot. bench has been disappointing. Acy should get minutes.
    watching all the games I think game management is terrible. player rotation doesn’t allow players to succeeded.

    can they get Mike Malone back
    please. he wouldn’t have belinelli and collision out their getting torched by 2 guards every night.

    emphasis needs to be defense they can score no problem.
    they need McLemore and willie playing defense 30 minutes at night minimum to get anywhere

    • Steve in Chicagp

      As I recall, Cousins didn’t like Malone either. A pattern emerging.

      • starlord

        cuz loved malone. cuz wants a defense first approach

      • jmgara

        You recall incorrectly. Had Ranadive stayed with Malone, the Kings would have been much better off.

      • Miklo916

        Cuz was upset that they fired Malone

  4. Dana Gauruder

    How quickly things have changed for the Kings — from eighth place in the West to coming apart at the seams. And DeMarcus popping off in the press…yes, the implosion has commenced.

  5. Dean Gant

    Bad decisions always come back to haunt you. The Kings are a mess. Coaching changes will not help this team, although Karl looks like a dead man walking. Cousins albeit talented is not a winner, he has poor habits, and really is not in good shape. He does lack energy & effort on defense and his body language is often poor. With a core of Cousins, Rudy Gay & Rondo it’s not surprising to see the inconsistent results.

    • baseballrat

      27pts 11rebs a game. Seems pretty out of shape to me. #’s don’t lie

      • Steve in Chicagp

        The only number that matters is under the “W” column, and Karl has way more than Cousins.

  6. Strauss

    Divac belongs in New Jersey. Two peas in a pod. Or you could say, Dumb and Dumber!

  7. starlord

    this is the first roster cuz has ever been on that should make the playoffs. it’s not his fault they drafted ferdette, Robinson and stakaus.

  8. foscoeritz

    Karl is 5th all-time in wins list. His teams have missed the playoffs 4 times in 26 years of coaching, including last years Kings. He led the Cavs, Warriors, and Bucks to the playoffs, rarities for those franchises historically. He coached the Sonics to the Finals. With the Nuggets he took over the worst team in the NBA, and went to the playoffs 10 straight years; franchise records for total wins, most home wins in a season, a Western Confernce Finals appearance, coach of the year honors, and took 3rd in the tough Western conference that did not have Carmelo Anthony.
    But, the Kings management should be the best judges of why they aren’t winning. What does Karl know?
    What a joke.

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