In the end, it came down to what General Manager Pete D’Alessandro wanted. And he all along wanted George Karl as the Kings’ coach
There were reports that it was in the owner’s court, but Vivek Ranadive and D’Alessandro met on Sunday, and the owner put the ball in D’Alessandro’s court, reported Sam Amick of USA Today. If the GM wanted Karl, go hire him.
There were reports that DeMarcus Cousins’ camp was pushing back against a Karl hiring. His people denied that – what they wanted to know was why every couple years the plan in Sacramento just radically changes. Which is a valid question. Either way were Ranadive and D’Alessandro really going to give their star player veto power?
In the end, it looks like a deal is going to get done to make Karl the next coach of the Kings, reports Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Sacramento Kings and George Karl are progressing on a four-year contract worth between $4 million to $5 million a season to become coach of the Sacramento Kings, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Tyrone Corbin will coach the final two Kings’ games before the All-Star break Tuesday at Chicago and Wednesday at Milwaukee, and – barring an unforeseen snag – Karl will take over as head coach afterward, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The official announcement may be a ways off. Karl is a North Carolina grad who next will be attending Dean Smith’s funeral.
The Kings fired coach Mike Malone midway through the season — a move not popular with Cousins or others in the locker room — and the team has gone 7-19 since.
The reported reason for the firing was Ranadive wanted a more up-tempo team than the defense-first Malone gave him. If so, Karl is a great hire. He wants an up-tempo, open system — remember the last team Karl coached won 57 games in Denver with Ty Lawson at the helm of a free-wheeling offense.
Cousins has the game to blossom in a version of that system.
The next question might be, will Ranadive keep D’Alessandro on as GM, to buy the groceries for his new chef? That question is not going to be answered until the season ends, but it’s something to watch.