George Karl was almost certainly on his way out as the Sacramento Kings head coach until a media leak persuaded the franchise’s front office to pretend like its pride mattered and retain him.
Commendable way to run an NBA team, right?
Anyway, the recently saved coach said there is no disconnect between him and general manager Vlade Divac, according to Dave Zeitlin of the Associated Press.
“I’ve always felt good about Vlade. I don’t think Vlade and I have a disconnect other than we want to win more games than we’re winning right now. And that’s fine with me. Everyone should want to win more games.”
Good for the Kings. The head coach and general manager of an organization whose sole purpose is to win basketball games are still on the same page that the team needs to win more.
ESPN’s Marc Stein broke the initial story as well as Sacramento’s decision to retain Karl, who was expected to be fired during the upcoming All-Star break. Stein cited unnamed sources and reported the Kings are concerned with his defensive schemes and practice philosophies.
Additionally, per Sam Amick of USA Today, firing Karl would have incurred a $10 million loss. “A move with that large of a price tag means the team’s minority owners would have to be involved in the decision,” Amick said.
In summary: Sacramento is a mess.
The Kings have dropped eight of their last nine contests, falling to 23-31 on the season and five games back of the Houston Rockets for the final playoff seed in the Western Conference.
At this point, who could blame All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins demanding a trade? That doesn’t mean Sacramento will ship him elsewhere, and it would be foolish if it did. While a mega-offer loaded with immediate-impact pieces and draft picks may be intriguing, players like Cousins aren’t replaceable.
It’s time for the Kings to cater to their star player, even if that comes at the price of a little organizational humility.