George Karl Out in Sacramento
With the Kings concluding another disappointing season Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center, the team’s front office won’t waste time in letting folks know George Karl will not be back as head coach next season.
The Kings will fire head coach George Karl, which is expected to happen Thursday upon the Kings’ return to Sacramento. Karl coached the team for a full season and a third in Sacramento, taking a 44-67 record into Wednesday’s season finale in Houston.
While the Kings posted their best record under Karl in eight seasons, it is the 10th consecutive season Sacramento has missed the playoffs. The team’s last playoff berth came in the 2005-06 season under former coach Rick Adelman.
Karl was on the verge of being fired in February before he was granted a reprieve. The off-court distractions were bad enough, but what really sealed Karl’s fate was the fact that the team kept on losing. Despite adding veteran pieces before the season, the Kings couldn’t keep pace in the race to make the playoffs, which was the stated goal of the franchise. Not making the playoffs all but assured changes would be made.
Who Could Replace George Karl?
There are only 30 head coaching positions, meaning someone will reluctantly jump into the fray and do their best with an opportunity to make a toxic situation slightly less so. Former Kings guard Vinny Del Negro, Jeff Hornacek, Kevin McHale and Patrick Ewing are among the names being considered. Whoever takes the job will inherit a two-time All-Star in DeMarcus Cousins, who will now play under his sixth coach entering his seventh season in the league.
In his brief stay in Sacramento, Karl was unable to build solid working relationship with the center, who at times went on tirades directed at the coach. Karl tried to get Cousins suspended after a locker-room outburst in November, but general manager Vlade Divac did not oblige.