Report: Kings want George Karl to resign

George Karl
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
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The Kings reportedly considered firing George Karl in November and February. They reportedly plan to axe him in the offseason.

Why haven’t they just done it already?

Denver radio host Sandy Clough on Colorado Sports Guys Podcast on a conversation with Karl, who previously coached the Nuggets (hat tip: Aaron Bruski of Hoop Ball):

It centered on Sacramento’s obvious attempt – attempts, plural — to get George to resign so they don’t have to pay him the $10 million they owe him on the remainder of his contract, which everybody knows, including George, more than anybody else. That’s exactly what’s going on. And actually his relationship with Cousins, at least at that point, was probably better than his relationship with any other element or person in the organization.

Karl reportedly has $6.5 million guaranteed on his contract after this season. With Vivek Ranadive reportedly losing the support of minority owners, I can see why he wouldn’t to bear that entire cost. (Update: It’s worth noting three — of many — Kings minority owners have gone on record in support of Ranadive.)

If the Kings want Karl to resign, that’d explain several things – Vlade Divac publicly OKing a DeMarcus Cousins rant many believe was directed at Karl, Divac saying Sacramento would keep Karl “for now,” management preventing Karl from suspending Cousins multiple times. At least there’d be a logic behind all this undermining.

One hand, this course makes sense. If the Kings believe their best chance of finding an optimal replacement is an offseason coaching search – probably the correct judgment – why fire Karl now? What would that accomplish? They probably didn’t determine Karl had to go until the playoffs became unrealistic anyway. There’s no harm in playing chicken during a lost season when the upside is saving millions of dollars and the downside is further disrupting chemistry that already needs serious repair. Well-run organizations don’t put themselves in this position, but the Kings are not a well-run organization.

If Sacramento is banking on Karl walking away due to health, that’d make me a little more squeamish. That gets more complex if he can’t do the job, of course.

If hoping Karl resigns is the Kings’ plan, fine. But he appears to have called their bluff. With just a couple weeks left in the season, it’d be shocking if he resigns now.

Sacramento tried. It’s time to move onto Plan B.

The Kings absolutely shouldn’t compound their Karl problem by waiting him out through the offseason and miss opportunities to hire the best replacement.