According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Sacramento Kings have fired head coach Mike Malone. The decision was apparently made after the team dropped a five-point decision to the lowly Detroit Pistons at home on Saturday night.
Wojnarowski’s report goes on to tell us a story of an ownership group in Sacramento that failed to create cohesion between the coaching staff and front office.
There has been significant tension between management and Malone on several fronts over the past year, and the firing ultimately turned out to be another cautionary tale in what happens when ownership doesn’t put together management and coaching staffs that have similar philosophies and a shared partnership.
Sacramento started the season incredibly strong, going 9-6 before dropping seven of its last nine games. And in a Western Conference full of contenders, a streak like that could doom a team’s season.
The decision to fire Malone was met with widespread criticism from those around the Association, fans and writers alike. While the Kings cannot be seen as a serious playoff contender, they have improved a great deal from a season ago. That’s all fans in California’s capital city have been asking for…progression.
With Malone out of the mix, Sacramento will be coached by assistant Tyrone Corbin, likely for the remainder of the season.
Whatever the ownership group, which includes the ultra-enigmatic Vivek Ranadive, decide to do next will be placed under a microscope. Malone may have had his weaknesses as an in-game head coach, but he was better than any coach in the recent history of the franchise. A franchise that has struggled to remain relevant in the Western Conference.
If early indications of names being thrown around are an example, there are going to be some angry fans as well as experts shaking their respective heads. Wojnarowski mentioned Vinny Del Negro and George Karl as two potential candidates.
Photo: Sacramento Bee