It’s inevitable. Some team is going to get off to a slow start, ownership/top management will be looking for a scapegoat, and a coach will get fired in the middle of the season. Even though the guys swinging the axe are more likely at fault for the team’s problems than the guy on the receiving end.
But who’s it going to be?
The oddsmakers at Bovada have put a number on it.
George Karl (SAC) 14/5
Lionel Hollins (BRK) 3/1
Derek Fisher (NYK) 4/1
Byron Scott (LAL) 4/1
Randy Wittman (WAS) 5/1
Steve Clifford (CHA) 7/1
David Blatt (CLE) 8/1
Dwane Casey (TOR) 10/1
If I were you, I would not bet on Karl. Despite all the volatile personalities in Sacramento and the early issues between Karl and DeMarcus Cousins, things are pretty stable, and everyone’s on the same page right now. The Kings are playing fairly well; they’ve just had a rough schedule to start the season (the Clippers twice). Now Cousins is going to miss a couple of games, and the losses will put some strain on the team, but I don’t see Karl going away in the short-term. Unless Vivek Ranadive has decided it’s time to install another new system in Sacramento (they have stuck with this one for six months now).
Also, Wittman isn’t going anywhere in Washington because owner Ted Leonsis isn’t one to pay two coaches at a time. Things are going well in Cleveland and Toronto, their coaches are safe right now.
After that, however, there are some names on that list where the seat has to already feel warm.