Kings’ Gentry: “We’ve Got To Find A Way To Right The Ship”

Interim head coach Alvin Gentry indicated that changes are coming after the Kings wrapped up a winless road trip Tuesday night in Toronto, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

Gentry briefly brought stability to Sacramento after taking over when Luke Walton was fired last month, leading the team to a 5-3 record in his first eight games. But the Kings have dropped three in a row since then and Gentry called Tuesday’s effort, in which his team trailed by as many as 31 points, “embarrassing.”

“I’m not real sure what the answer is right now,” Gentry told reporters after the game. “I’ve got a long flight that I can really think about it and look at it and try to figure out what we can do, because obviously what’s going on right now is not the answer, so we’ve got to find a way to right the ship.”

With center Richaun Holmes sidelined by an eye injury, Gentry tried three different starting lineups during the three-game trip, Anderson notes. Gentry said his priority will be “to get a group of guys who are going to compete.”

The Kings held a players-only meeting following the game to discuss issues that have been building up during the losing streak. Players declined to reveal any specifics of the meeting, but Harrison Barnes hinted that it involved unity.

“Right now, we’re not playing together,” he said. “That’s really what it boils down to and, as a group, we’ve discussed it, and that’s really all I’m going to say on that at this point.”

Sacramento is still in decent position in the race for a play-in spot, trailing ninth-place Minnesota by one game and 10th-place Portland by a half-game. However, Anderson points out that the team’s defense has fallen apart, surrendering 10 30-point quarters in the last four games.

De’Aaron Fox, who is one of the franchise cornerstones and is in the first season of a five-year, $163MM max extension, said the Kings need better communication on the court. Critics have started questioning Fox’s ability as a team leader, Anderson adds, but Fox emphasized Tuesday that he’s committed to turning Sacramento into a playoff team.

“I haven’t lost until I got here, so for the first 18 years of life, 19 years of life, every step that I played basketball, I was winning something,” Fox said. “So, I don’t know how you do that, make it to the NBA and now you just don’t care about winning. Everybody talks about, ‘If you get paid, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ Nobody likes to lose regardless of what level you’re on. Whether you’re getting paid or you’re playing for free, nobody likes to lose. … Everybody wants to win.”

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