Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl is likely to be removed from his position before the All-Star break, according to league sources. Kings GM Vlade Divac will ultimately have the final say on the firing. At 21-31 this year, the Kings have looked shockingly good at times but have performances that remind you of past Kings teams.
In the midst of their four-game skid, members of the Kings organization have become upset with Karl’s policies as head coach. He’s lacking the leadership that they thought he’d bring in, his defensive schemes are obviously not working because the Kings allow almost 110 points per game and his practice policies are puzzling.
Rajon Rondo, who’s having a renaissance season, told the Sacramento Bee that he has a problem with Karl’s optional shootarounds. Monday morning, before losing 120-100 to the Cavaliers, Rondo spoke out, “With optional shootarounds, it’s tough … When three or four guys show to shootaround this morning, how can you expect to win?”
While it’s not right to have any practice optional, only three or four players going to the optional shootaround makes you question the commitment of who didn’t show up.
DeMarcus Cousins, who’s known to be temperamental, had a flare up with Karl in November and could be a contributing factor to the Kings letting go of their coach. Cousins is having an MVP-level season and the Kings are going to do whatever necessary to keep their superstar happy.
Since his rookie season in 2010-11, Cousins has seen five coaches come and go, and will now see his sixth this season. His fiery personality is nothing new, and he’s going to remain that way. Cousins’ temper has significantly improved, but it’s evident that a lot of his — and the team’s — frustrations are tied to the constant losing.
On February 5th, the Kings gave up 128 points to the Nets, one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA. After the loss, Cousins spoke on the team’s internal issues.
“I’d rather keep [problems] in house, but we definitely have a bigger issue than just energy and effort. That can’t be the excuse every night. … We’re going to work it out as a team, and hopefully we can fix this,” Cousins said.
The lead candidate to replace Karl is former King Corliss Williamson. Whether Williamson becomes the coach or not, the person who replaces Karl is going to have to put a lot of stress on defensive schemes and execution.
Luckily, the replacement will be helming a team with a bevy of talent, and will have an excellent chance to go to the postseason if he delivers on what Karl couldn’t.
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