Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro, advisor to the chairman Chris Mullin, DeMarcus Cousins and rumored coaching candidate Mark Jackson visited in private for more than an hour and a half late Tuesday, USA Today’s Sam Amick reports. D’Alessandro downplayed any significance to the affair, insisting that “it was not a meeting,” instead calling it a reunion of old friends and reiterating that Tyrone Corbin is the team’s head coach, as the GM said to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Jackson was in Sacramento to broadcast Tuesday’s Kings-Thunder game for ESPN. D’Alessandro, Mullin and Jackson have longstanding connections to each other, but Cousins doesn’t share much history with the group, and he had expressed a desire to meet with Jackson prior to the visit, Amick writes.
The connection between Mullin, another apparent Kings coaching target who’s reportedly reluctant to take over head coaching duties at midseason, and Jackson dates back to their high school days, and they were teammates in college and the NBA, Amick notes. D’Alessandro was a video coordinator at St. John’s after Mullin had left but while Jackson was still there, and the three always meet when they have the chance, according to Amick. Jackson also has ties to owner Vivek Ranadive, who owned a minority stake in the Warriors while Jackson was coaching at Golden State.
Ranadive said D’Alessandro and Mullin had given full-throated support to Corbin when they suggested that Michael Malone be let go, though the owner left the door open for another change at any time as he spoke with Sean Cunningham of News10 in Sacramento (video link; hat tip to Spears).
“I sat down with Pete D’Alessandro and Chris Mullin when they recommended that we make this change at this time,” Ranadive said. “I asked them, ‘What are all the options?’ and “Who should we consider?’ and while we’re always looking at options, they were very emphatic that Tyrone Corbin had earned the right to be the head coach of the Sacramento Kings at this time, and that we all needed to get behind him and support him. So we’re going to put all the wood behind the Ty Corbin arrow, and we’re going to support him to our fullest.”
Ranadive also made a tangential reference to Ray Allen in his chat with Cunningham, saying that, “Just because you win 16 games in a row, it doesn’t mean that you don’t try to get Ray Allen on your team to make your team even better.” However, that appears to be a reference to the Warriors, who had their 16-game winning streak snapped Tuesday and have recently been identified as a suitor for the free agent shooting guard, and not an indication that Sacramento is making any sort of push to sign Allen.