The Sacramento Kings are not a good basketball team. Their offense is terrible, and they’re somehow worse on defense. Their record of 5-21 on the season — and 1-9 in their last 10 games — is indicative of a young team that is regressing, not improving.
Then there is the mess surrounding the curious benching of DeMarcus Cousins for taunting an opponent during a game. Think what you will of the punishment itself, but it’s clear from Cousins’ comments and those of Kings’ players in general over the last few weeks that the players are not happy.
Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld confirms all that and more.
Sources close to the situation say that Westphal has “all but lost his team” as well as the confidence of the (co-owning brothers the) Maloofs. Players, who expected improvement this season, believe that Westphal’s rotations and actions have made it nearly impossible for the young team to find success.
Behind closed doors, the players have questioned his philosophy and decision making throughout the season and only see things getting worse the longer he is on the bench.
Usually these are the steps on the road to a coach getting fired. No change is imminent in Sacramento, but Westphal’s seat is getting hot. Westphal is the lowest-paid coach in the NBA at $1.5 million this season, which could make a possible release easier for the Maloofs to swallow.
It’s a situation to watch over the coming weeks and months. Either the Kings will start winning or there will be consequences, and when heads start rolling, the coach’s typically comes first.