Keith Smart gets contract extension to stay as Kings’ coach

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Better not use the word “interim” around him anymore.

Co-owner Joe Maloof said the other day the Kings did not plan to let coach Keith Smart go, they liked the job he had done since taking over seven games in for Paul Westphal as coach. Today that became official.

The team announced that they are keeping Smart through at least next season. From the Associated Press.

Sacramento president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie announced Monday that the team has extended Smart’s contract through the 2012-13 season. The 47-year-old Smart replaced the fired Paul Westphal in early January – giving him another shot as a head coach after being let go by the Golden State Warriors last April.

Smart move. The Kings have been better under him and he seems to have connected with the players. Give him a full training camp and more time — and ideally more talent, too — and see what he can do.