Kings Fire Head Coach Dave Joerger

12:27pm: The Kings have now fired Joerger, officially announcing the decision in a press release.

“After evaluating the season, I determined that we need to move in a different direction in order to take us to the next level,” Divac said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire Kings organization, I want to thank Dave for his contributions to our team and I wish him all the best.”

11:08am: Kings general manager Vlade Divac is having a face-to-face meeting with head coach Dave Joerger today and intends to fire Joerger during that sitdown, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Kings sign Vlade Divac to contract extension]

It’s a somewhat surprising move, given the success Joerger had with the young Kings this season. The club was in playoff contention through the All-Star break and finished with 39 wins, the most victories a Sacramento team has had since the 2005/06 season. Under Joerger, guards De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield enjoyed breakout seasons, with young players like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harry Giles, and Marvin Bagley also showing promise.

However, the Kings slumped at the end of the season, going 9-17 down the stretch and losing some games that they shouldn’t have. Additionally, Joerger reportedly had some tension with the team’s front office throughout the year related to minutes for young players, and notably clashed with assistant GM Brandon Williams. An earlier report from Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link) indicated that Williams won’t be back next season either.

In three total seasons with the Kings, Joerger posted a 98-148 (.398) record, with no playoff appearances. He previously coached the Grizzlies for three years, posting a 147-99 (.598) regular-season mark in Memphis, with a 9-13 record in four playoff series. Joerger had one year remaining on his contract with the Kings.

Wojnarowski suggests (via Twitter) that Divac, with a new contract extension in hand, is “consolidating power” around himself in the Kings’ front office. He’ll presumably take the lead in picking Joerger’s replacement.

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times (via Twitter), Luke Walton would be a top candidate for Sacramento if the Lakers let him go, though Walton isn’t necessarily a lock to be replaced in L.A. now that Magic Johnson has stepped down. ESPN’s Zach Lowe (via Twitter) also identifies Spurs assistant Ettore Messina as a name to watch in Sacramento, while Amick (via Twitter) adds Sixers assistant Monty Williams to the list of potential candidates for the Kings.

As for Joerger, the Minnesota native has frequently been linked to the Timberwolves’ head coaching job, as Lowe notes (via Twitter). However, there’s a belief that Ryan Saunders might hang onto his position with the Wolves — that situation is in flux, as Minnesota seeks a new president of basketball operations.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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20 thoughts on “Kings Fire Head Coach Dave Joerger

  1. snotrocket

    They look like they are moving in the right direction. Wonder why they feel like this is needed? Granted, I haven’t watched any Kings games in a while.

  2. greg1

    This seems like a Kings move to me. Why keep a good younger coach when you can fire him and see if Isiah Thomas or David Blatt are available.

    Dumb.

  3. C-Daddy

    Just when you thought the organization was finally headed in the right direction…

  4. adshadbolt1

    Saw a tweet from woj saying vlade wants more power in the organization so he’s firing him

  5. x%sure

    With regards to the early-season controversy between Joeger & Williams over PT for Bagley & Bjelica…
    Their PT did not change over the year, 25 for Bagley & 23 for Bjelica. However Bagley missed a number of games with injury, so the argument that he should have played more is a miss. He was not up for the minutes he was scheduled for. Nor was their PT responsible for the change in W-L.

    Predictably, Bjelica has significantly higher on/off, VORP, and BPM, with Bagley in the minus, While Bagley has the better PER, 18.9 to 15.4.

    So Joerger was right and it was just a matter of when to give up & play the kids. Probably Williams was too quick and Joerger too slow. But they probably doomed each other with the debate.

  6. kenleyfornia2

    LOL imagine firing a guy because he didn’t want to tank. Classic Kings

    • MathTeacherSDSUAlumni619
      MathTeacherSDSUAlumni619

      With a draft class that could potentially rival the James bosh wade Anthony class of 03 you could make a strong argument playing the kids and tanking would be the right move, esp if you added a Cameron reddish or rj Barrett to the group of fox hield Bagley and cauley stein.

      • x%sure

        I have not heard so much optimism for the 2019 class. The rise of ZionW certainly helps, but some others have not developed as hoped, and it was generally thought weak at the start of the year.

      • Sirsleepit

        This class is nowhere near as strong as ‘03. If anything it is one of the weaker drafts in memory, sans Zion

      • kenleyfornia2

        Ok but the Kings traded for Barnes. What did they expect. To get worse

  7. OCTraveler

    Would love to see Walton go there giving him an opportunity to remain in the same division as the Lakers. Kings’ young roster without a Prima Donna would be just right for his personality.

  8. erickohli

    So dumb. Kings actually show signs of life this year. Overachieved. Were a great watch on NBA league pass. Typical stupid Kings move. Just sell the team.

  9. fieldsj2

    Walton isn’t necessarily a lock to be replaced? I won’t believe it until it comes from LeBron!

  10. gomerhodge71
    gomerhodge71

    Joerger won’t be out of work long. He’s a good coach. Cavs would be wise to at least interview him.

  11. cesc

    Finally they got rid of Joerger, took too long, now they can only get better from here!!!

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