Kings To Fire George Karl

The Kings plan to fire coach George Karl, according to Marc Stein of After months of rumors, Stein said sources told him the team has made a decision and the move will be made in the “coming days,” most likely after the team’s final game before the All-Star break, which will be Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Feb 5, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl watches play between the Brooklyn Nets and the Kings during the second half at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Kings 128-119. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Noah K. Murray / USA Today Sports Images

The move verifies a report earlier today by Chris Mannix of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports that the front office has lost faith in Karl and the players have tuned him out. The Kings fell to 21-31 with tonight’s 20-point loss in Cleveland and are currently five games behind the Jazz for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Stein writes that the decision to replace Karl is being made by GM Vlade Divac, and that former Kings player and current assistant Corliss Williamson is the “overwhelming favorite” to take over as interim coach. Sources tell Stein that Divac only wants an interim coach right now and wants to take his time with the coaching search.

Karl had been under fire even before he was formally hired to coach the Kings a little less than a year ago. Sources told Stein that discontent has been growing lately over Karl’s defensive schemes, his philosophy on practice and his overall leadership.

Point guard Rajon Rondo, who came to Sacramento as a free agent last summer and has been among Karl’s biggest supporters, appeared to jump ship earlier today, complaining about the coach’s decision to make this morning’s shootaround optional, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. “With optional shootarounds, it’s tough … When three or four guys show up for shootaround this morning, how can you expect to win?” Rondo said.

Karl has $6.5MM guaranteed cash left on the four-year, $15MM deal he agreed to last year, not counting this season’s $3.25MM salary. The Kings will be seeking their ninth coach since 2006/07, the most in the league since that time. When the firing becomes official, Karl will be the sixth coach to be let go this season.

Was it time for a change in Sacramento? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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15 thoughts on “Kings To Fire George Karl

    • incompetence gone wild.

      9th coach in 9 years.

      they’re incomprehensibly incompetent.

  1. Dana Gauruder

    More a reflection on the organization than the coach. Should have never fired Malone last season.

    • Chuck Myron

      Malone has quipped on multiple occasions that the Kings ultimately made him look like John Wooden with all the turmoil that happened after they canned him. Now, he’s starting to look like Wooden, Red Auerbach and Gene Hackman from “Hoosiers” all rolled into one.

  2. J Hill

    I’d dump Boogie before I’d dump Karl. Boogie wanted to play PF and Kar let him. He now shoots a terrible percentage and plays bad D, great way to thank your coach. Karl has always maximized talent. Makes you wonder how good Cousins actually is. Several players on that team are having uptick years except Bellinelli and Cousins which are having terrible years.

    • starlord

      shoots a terrible percentage and plays bad. you sir are a dumbass. he hasn’t played pf all year watch a game. when willie starts with him he’s always matched up with center on both ends.
      karl is an old delusional don Nelson 2.0 no more jobs for him, he’s lost it.

  3. chadarrieta

    I can’t help but wonder if the timing of this decision has anything to do with the Knicks decision. They probably want to make sure they are in on Luke Walton and/or Tom Thibodeau.

    • scott46

      Thibodeau would not take this job for all the money in fort know and all the tea in China. This job would destroy all the credibility that Luke has earn in half a season. Cousins will undermine any coach that does not dance to his music, just as Lebron is doing in Cleveland

  4. I’d love to see Karl head the Suns. They desperately need a steady hand and experience. They keep going for a cheap, inexperienced coach. The Kings and all these teams who fire good coaches like Karl are foolish. The real problem is the players they’ve assembled.

    As analytics changes the decisions of many a basketball team, they should to baseball and know there’s a balance that needs to happen. You can tell a player through numbers, but if their heart or basketball IQ are lacking, they’ll let you down (e.g. Dwight Howard, Markeiff Morris, etc).

    On a personal level, I wonder how’s it so hard to motivate these players. Beyond the monster salaries and striving to stay in the NBA and be a stud, how can’t many be self-motivated? I make pennies compared and wake up each day and work hard. I don’t need a coach (manager) to motivate, rather, I need them to lead. Don’t misunderstand, motivating can be a great function of a coach, but I fail to see how so often that’s how they’re judged. The NBA would be a far better place if teams stood up for their coach and reprimanded players for disrespecting their coaches. Phoenix and Sacramento ended up standing with Cousins and Markeiff instead of Hornecek and Karl. Come on.

  5. smittybanton

    Karl doesn’t want to run a tight ship, which is what the Kings have needed for a long time. Being afraid to lead may be what has limited Karl to just a “good” coach all these years.

    On the other hand, if only four players on a team vying for the playoffs show up to a voluntary practice, then your GM assembled the wrong personnel.

    In Karl’s defense, it may be too loose to be effective in the short term, but it is also a good way to determine who wants to be there for the long haul.

    If Cousins is one of the early practicers, he should stay. If not, Kings need to take that package from Boston (BKN16 + …. + …).

  6. scott46

    It’s unrealistic or impossible for a independent coach to coach this team. Only option this team has is to get a Cousins supporter. Just like Lebron, Cousins is calling the shots and will undermine any potential coach who does not dance to his music…

    • starlord

      when your a top 5 player in the league you have alot of power. you ever heard of free agency. don’t treat cuz right hell go to NY or LA. Cuz is loyal to Sacramento and a hard worker. improved his game every year. bought into karl shoot 3s cuz karl. at 36% not bad. he doesn’t want to play at leagues fastest pace. he wants to be a defense first team, they were building with Malone and broke it all down. they have good defensive players in willie and Mac about time they use them. Williamson was there with Malone preaches defense.
      it was a fail karl needs his kind of players kings don’t have then coach with what you got.
      rondo, Mac, gay, willie, cuz is a big team that can control the boards, why run all the time harder to play defense that way.

  7. victor

    they need to move rondo i truly believe he is toxic for cousins.. they need a veteran big man someone who can anchor the defense and hold cousins accountable a true team leader someone like tyson chandler,noah,horford,milsap,gibson,they also need a 3 and d wing.

    • Arthur Hill

      You’re right, and what that really means is they should start the rebuilding project around Cousins from scratch. Rondo isn’t a good fit. Gay isn’t a good fit. And everyone else is expendable. Meanwhile, Boogie moves another year closer to free agency.

      • victor

        i mean look how sac did it before they had c-web .. kind of a knucke head .. they brought in divac a respected big man.. and they probably would of won a title if it would not have been for shaq and kobe… those sac teams were awesome to watch and tough as hell to beat.

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