12:57pm: Associate head coach Chad Iske, the lead assistant to Karl, would lead the team for Friday’s game if Karl isn’t available, according to James Ham of CSN California.
7:58am: George Karl will undergo a medical procedure today to treat cancer in his throat, he told Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. The 63-year-old who’s twice survived cancer will miss today’s practice, according to Jones, and it’s unclear when he’ll return to the team, which next plays Friday against the Magic. GM Vlade Divac said to Jones that the team won’t rush him back. Karl insists his condition is not serious, Jones notes. The team hasn’t named an interim replacement, though Corliss Williamson was reportedly poised to become interim coach in February, when the team nearly fired Karl.
Some around the Kings have had concerns about the effect that Karl’s health has had on his ability to coach, USA Today’s Sam Amick reported in February, shortly after the team nearly fired him. Players have had difficulty hearing Karl’s voice during games, according to Amick. Karl missed the second half of the 2009/10 season to recover from throat and neck cancer while he was coach of the Nuggets. He suffered from prostate cancer in 2005.
DeMarcus Cousins was animated as he delivered an apparent tirade to Karl on the bench during Sacramento’s loss Wednesday to the Cavs, before Karl publicly revealed his cancer and presumably before Cousins knew about it. Cousins felt Karl wasn’t supporting the players enough, similar to complaints from other players that the coach isn’t exhibiting passion during games and doesn’t stand up for them, but by the next timeout, Cousins and Karl acted as though the blowup hadn’t taken place, according to Sean Cunningham of KXTV-TV in Sacramento (All four Twitter links).