According to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports, the Kings are seriously considering firing coach 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 the embattled coach’s job status is now seriously in question. Of course, this isn’t necessarily an earth-shattering revelation given that Sacramento was reportedly pondering Karl’s dismissal last June, merely six months after hiring him to replace interim coach Tyrone Corbin, who had in turn replaced the fired Michael Malone.
Karl has reportedly lost the support of the front office as well as a number of his players. Center DeMarcus Cousins seemingly called out the coaching staff for the team’s continued flaws on the defensive end after the loss to Brooklyn, 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.”
With the NBA All-Star break a week away, the timing is certainly ripe for Sacramento to make a move as it would give whomever was named interim coach a bit more time to prepare for the second half of the campaign. It’s unclear who would be in line to take the reigns in the event of Karl’s dismissal, though Marc Stein of ESPN.com relayed that current assistant coach and former player Corliss Williamson would be under strong consideration for the post.
Just how much of the team’s woes Karl is responsible is certainly up for debate. The Kings have played .500 ball when Cousins has been in the lineup, which is a winning percentage certainly in line with the franchise’s current level of talent. Sacramento is a deeply flawed team on the defensive end, a problem more to do with the team’s personnel than Karl’s system, though he is primarily known as an offensive-minded coach. Changing coaches isn’t likely to make the Kings an instant playoff contender, as the same holes and flaws in the roster will still exist no matter who is calling the sets out from the sideline. Dismissing Karl may make the locker room more harmonious in the short-term, but it won’t fix many of the team’s on the court issues.
But that’s my take on the situation and now we’re asking for yours. Should Karl be fired, or are other changes needed instead? Cast your vote below and then head to the comments section to share your thoughts on the matter. We look forward to what you have to say.