But Karl’s fate looks increasingly certain.
George Karl is in trouble.
Even those closest to him are willing to admit that much.
The Sacramento Kings coach who came to town nine months ago, who was given a $15 million contract ($11.5 million guaranteed) that doesn’t expire until the summer of 2018, and whose sterling record of success has been tainted by way of the 12-26 record ever since, isn’t seen internally as their coach for the long-haul anymore. Barring a shocking turnaround – and by that, we’re talking a 40-plus win season that seems unlikely – that much has become increasingly clear.
Even if the Kings were moderately cohesive – which they’re not – 40 wins would have been a high bar entering the season. They haven’t won even 30 games in any of the last seven years. Getting to 40-42 with a 1-7 start weighing them down looks highly improbable.
Really, this isn’t such a bad situation for Karl. Sixth on the all-time wins list, 12 behind Phil Jackson, Karl wants to climb the rankings – maybe all the way to No. 1 with 193 more victories. But he also wants to coach his way, apparently willing to ignite a feud with Cousins. If the franchise picks Cousins over him, Karl will get plenty of guaranteed money as a fallback. Show me the unfavorable outcome for Karl here.
The way owner Vivek Ranadivé operates, I’m not sure Karl gets until the end of this season. Sacramento has had four coaches in the 2.5 years Ranadive has owned the team, though to be fair, he inherited Keith Smart. Once Ranadivé decides to change directions – and there’s no telling when that will be – I’m not sure what stops him.