1:56pm: Alvin Gentry will become the interim coach of the Kings, per Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link). He was previously serving as associate head coach under Walton.
Gentry’s last stint as a head coach was with the Pelicans from 2015-20, compiling a 175-225 record in five seasons before being fired. He has a total win-loss record of 510-595 across 17 partial seasons with the Heat, Pistons, Clippers, Suns and Pelicans. His most successful team was the 2009/10 Suns, who reached the Western Conference Finals and lost to the eventual champion Lakers in six games.
12:06pm: The Kings have fired head coach Luke Walton, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Kings have struggled in the early portion of the season, losing seven of their past eight games and currently sit with a 6-11 record. They lost some seemingly winnable games during the slide, including games to the Pacers, Spurs, Thunder, and Raptors.
The team went 31-41 in each of the past two seasons under Walton, so he compiled a 68-93 overall record with the Kings. He’s under contract for one more year beyond this season and the team will be on the hook for the remainder of his salary.
Woj also relays that Alvin Gentry, the team’s associate head coach, is a strong candidate to serve as the interim coach. However, he hedged that statement by noting that a decision has yet to be made (Twitter link).
Another possible candidate to serve as interim coach is former Kings player and first-year assistant Doug Christie, Woj tweets.
We noted earlier today that Kings fans have been regularly chanting “fire Luke Walton” at home games and there was a report last week that indicated the head coach was firmly on the hot seat. There has been increasing urgency for the Kings to snap their 15-year playoff drought. The front office views the current roster as one capable of making the postseason, hence why Walton was fired after a 6-11 start.
It’s tough to see the team making the playoffs outright as a top-six seed, especially having started five games under .500. There are definitely talented players among the group, but the fit is questionable. It will be interesting to see if this decision has any impact on trade talks, or if the Kings will stick with the roster they have.
Sacramento was consistently a bottom-tier defensive team under Walton; the club ranked 20th in defensive rating in 2019/20, 30th last season, and 23rd through 17 games this season. It ranked 27th, 30th, and 24th in total rebounds across the same time period. Obviously not all of that is on the coach, but it’s partly why the Kings have struggled to compete at the level they were hoping for.
61 thoughts on “Kings Fire Luke Walton; Alvin Gentry Named Interim Coach”
All Kings fans are rejoicing… but why not just fire him at the beginning of the offseason so we could go after one of the touted, young head coaches? Kangz be kangz…
9th seed Lakers (top 3 Title Odds)
12th seed Kings
Lakers are 2 GBs over Kings.
If I were a good young coach, I would not take Kings or Rockets job.
It hurts the career.
Let’s say Rockets fire the coach at the end of the season, it’s hard for Silas to get a coaching job from a good team.
McNair may well have wanted to and Vivek vetoed due to the money left on Walton’s contract.
Walton doesnt deserve another head coaching opportunity. He took both Lakers and Kings for a ride. :(
He’ll get one, though. There are plenty of clueless FOs who simply value experience over ability. There’s also no shortage of teams that need a caretaker while they tank. He’ll be back within a few years.
Took them for a ride? Lakers I get but kings haven’t been good since like 03. They are a terrible run team .
honestly, he didn’t do that bad given that he at least had enough skin to bench Bagley
Barnes has found himself on offense . the center I forget his name, but was developed under Walton and has been great
I’m sure he’ll have another HC job shortly….dude keeps failing up for some reason. I’m guessing he’ll get the Duke job after K retires.
No, he will be an assistant for a long while this time around…
No. Jon Scheyer is taking over Duke. Walton will probably go to ESPN or NBA TV and be an analyst and act like he knows everything.
I wasn’t serious about that……
Analysts are supposed to think they know things. More likely Walton gets rejected for that job for being too mild.
Why would you even think he has no ties to duke. If anything he coach az before duke
Back to the warriors or lakers?
Not after his sexual harassment lawsuit embarassment ….
What does that have to do with his abilities (or lack there of) as a coach?
Should have stayed with the Warriors instead of trying to be a head coach.
No. I’d always take the risk.
Money, money, money.
This guy should never coach a NBA team ever again. Doesn’t make proper adjustments, clashes with his own players, totally clueless when it comes to matchups. If I’m Kings I go hire Terry Stotts for some stability. He won’t get you to a championship contender status, but he would bring instant credibility to a team and organization that ranks as the Detroit Lions of the NBA.
Agreed. He has had 6 years split between LA and SAC…we know who he is as a HC. Could not produce a team above .500 in any season.
To be fair he went to a terribly run kings to who haven’t been good in like 20 years
In all seriousness, trade Fox to NYK for Barrett, and a few other pieces (lazy proposal I know). But NYK needs a legitimate PG who can run the offense, meanwhile Kings need more wing help. The only thing that’s stopping from this trade happening, Fox has a contract extension and NYK doesn’t have anyone that can match the salary with the exception of Randle who is untouchable for NYK. Maybe send back Fournier, Barrett, 2 firsts?
I’ll trade Bagley, Haliburton and Hield for Simmons and Maxey.
Kings need veteran leadership. Suns brought in CP3 for leadership while he could still play. Kings keep bringing guys over their prime. A guy like Dragic would bring some instant leadership.
I am sure you would…but since Simmons and maxey are the 2 best players in your proposed deal…not gonna happen lol.
Simmons and Milton perhaps…not even sure that would be an adequate deal? Perhaps adding a 3rd team and draft picks so Hield and Bagley could be shipped elsewhere. Bagley would be our 4th best center, so he does not move the needle…Curry is a comparable player to Hield on a much more team friendly contract…
Why would the Knicks do this?
I just said they need a legitimate PG. And fox is young and proven. Barrett still trying to find his niche in the NBA.
Knicks already have Kemba Walker, Derrick Rose, and Quickley. Again: why would the Knicks do this? They’ve struggled this season on defense and Barrett, while disappointing and inconsistent on offense, is a stud on defense. Barrett for Fox makes absolutely no sense for the Knicks.
So you’re trusting no knees Kemba and Rose??? I just said Fox gives them a PG they haven’t had in a WHILE. He’s still young and can be the PG for the next 5-10 years. Better defender than Walker and Rose too.
Kings are not giving up Fox now. We got enough at PG to wait till after all star break. It’s not as simple as Kembas D. Knicks have team issues they need to figure out. They play up to their competition. You’ll see that today against Bulls. Personally I do feel Knicks will make a deal this yr. Just not yet.
@Raz: I’m not ‘trusting’ anything. I’m saying that adding another score-first PG when they already have THREE of them makes absolutely no sense, especially when you have them shipping out their best defender, a SF (Barrett), in the process.
For the third time: Why would the Knicks do this? This isn’t 2k, you actually have to consider lineups and your roster before you make a move. Trading Barrett for Fox makes the Knicks worse overall, not better.
Who will be the next head coach to be hired and then fired? Gentry? A ex-King from the glory days?
Kangz will be Kangz so does not matter
They’ll likely hire that Pacers head coach who got fired after one year this past offseason. “Potential game changer”.
Should have never fired Dave Joerger. Never understood the rationale for bringing Luke on. Dave had the team going in the right direction. Of course, they never should’ve fired Mike Malone either for that same reason.
I just don’t get this organization. With the exception of the J Will/Bibby, DC, C-Webb, Divac era, the ownership and upper management have been completed inept. Jim Thomas, Maloof boys, Vivek. Best fans on the planet, but they’ll never see a title. Currently, Vivek and Matina are so self absorbed that they’ll never take a backseat to someone who is competent and can actually get this team to win. It’s like they’re obsessed with this losing culture. I can’t figure it out.
Don’t forget taking MBIII before Luka, those are the type of draft selections that haunt a franchise for 15-20 years (See Portland 84), (Pistons ‘03), (Timberwolves ‘09). MBIII didn’t even dominate the college game like the way Luka dominated EuroLeague. It makes me want to play 2K and rebuild Kings to glory. Lol
Thomas Robinson over Lillard
Ferdette over Klay Thompson and Lenard
Trading down and passing on Sabonis to draft a draft bust
Trading down and passed on Donovan Mitchell and Bam to draft Jackson and Giles or OG.
You could go on with this joke
Totally agree. I was focused on coaches, but you’re absolutely right. Great examples. The one that gets me is McLemore over McCollum. CJ worked out with the team and was actually pumped to come here. Most draft pics aren’t.
You hit the nail on the head. Vivek is a buffoon who needs to hire someone competent and then get out of the way.
Wonder who will get the coaching gig?
Gentry is alright intern and if he gets some wins could be a shout for full time.
Also will this have any effect on a possible trade, with Heild and Bagley the most often talked about players.
I’d try Marvin Bagley for Thad Young.
Young showed last season he’s a solid vet you can either start or play off the bench and can do a lot of good things for you. This season he hasn’t had as much luck in San Antonio. Considering both players are on expiring deals I think the young sours team may have interest in getting Bagley and seeing what he can do.
David Blatt probably on their radar too.
An unlucky person……
Kings as a franchise suck but the team has a lot of talent.
Tristan Thompson…Coach Slayer.
What took so long ….. ????
This team should go after Ben. Move Haliburton to get him. Considering Fox is more a scoring PG. He and Ben can make it work. With Ben at wing (3 or 4). Kings need a big splash. Ben needs a new beginning. All Ben needs to do is get his FT% up over .75%. Then he will put up 25 a gm. Plus he will always be a good passer. Haliburton puts Sixers in Finals.
I doubt Sixers would include Maxey now.
I still take Bagley, Haliburton, #1 pick
Good riddance Luke!
Never too soon!
Now, let’s hope they hire Christie instead of the fossilized Dinosaur also known as Gentry… This team needs to play more for Fox & start getting MBIII on the court if they wanna win… Fox, Hield & MBIII must start, then they have nothing anyway at the 3 or 5… & please just get Haliburton on the bench or better trade him for something that at least is good enough to play!
Put MBIII in the lineup and trade Haliburton? You must not watch or know much about basketball…
AGREED. Lmao I didn’t even bother to reply to this analysis.
Coming from a GSW fanboy like you, then, must be true you know it all about hoops & I know nothing! Happy now!
I’m sure that will fix everything…….NOT
Walton doesn’t need to get any credit but the Kings are undersized and that leads to some of the defensive issues. HB as the fulltime 4 is small ball and Holmes isn’t the tallest 5 either. That’s a front court build for offense and no shot blocking. Then add in Hield at a small 3.
Stouts could get the offense more efficient but the defense would still be trash.
How did this guy get two head coaching jobs? He was a disaster in LA. Maybe he should coach mid major college basketball or something.
Some of you are actually saying “ should have stayed in golden state rather than take 2 head coaching jobs”… assistant coach salary 300k or HC salary 5 mil .. do the math. I’m sure you guys though wouldn’t have taken the money.
Does Gentry hold the modern day record for most interim gigs? Guy is the hyena of the NBA.
If only they had taken Luka…
While, I feel sorry for Walton a little bit, because most of this C**p is on the Players, a change had to be made, that said, I kinda wished Christie would have been named Interim Coach w/ Gentry showing him the ropes !!
Now trade Fox and Bagley. The regression of Fox on a max contract is a liability the Kings can’t afford. Bagley is just an all around a$$. And no, do not get Simmons.
Shame we can’t do memes… LBJ – It’s about damn time
Mike Brown will be the next head coach and Kings will have to give him lucrative 5 year contract.
See what happens when you hire from the Phil Jackson/Kerr coaching tree ……… you’re not winning anything, not unless you have multiple transcendent talent on the floor.