Kings fire Dave Joerger, reportedly interested in Lakers coach Luke Walton

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Update: Kings release:

Today, Sacramento Kings General Manager Vlade Divac announced that Dave Joerger has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the team.

“After evaluating the season, I determined that we need to move in a different direction in order to take us to the next level,” said Kings General Manager Vlade Divac. “On behalf of the entire Kings organization, I want to thank Dave for his contributions to our team and I wish him all the best.”

 

Kings coach Dave Joerger and assistant general manager Brandon Williams feuded.

Who won the power struggle?

General manager Vlade Divac, who got a long-term contract and is ousting both Joerger and Williams.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Divac has made the decision that Williams will not return next season.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

The Kings just had their best season in 13 years. And this is how they follow it?

This organization is so dysfunctional.

Maybe getting rid of Joerger and Williams is a step toward fixing the dysfunction. Or maybe it’s a symptom of persistent dysfunction.

Divac has earned some leeway to build the franchise, but these moves add pressure.

Joerger did an excellent job this season. He helped Sacramento form an identity as a fast-paced team. He helped players develop. He found just enough balance on a team overflowing with young players looking to establish themselves.

Perhaps, there’s good reason to fire Joerger. When the Grizzlies fired Joerger a few years ago, Memphis general manager Chris Wallace said, “The decision was not about Dave’s in-game coaching.  Dave did an admirable job managing games. However, being an NBA head coach is about more than just coaching a 48 minute game.” We don’t know everything about Joerger’s performance.

But replacing him won’t be easy. This brings up memories of the Kings firing Michael Malone, who coached well then got dumped anyway.

It puts only more scrutiny on the replacement.

Luke Walton could be fine, but he isn’t necessarily available. The Lakers are in limbo. And it’s not as if Walton coached so well in Los Angeles that he clearly warrants another NBA head-coaching job. Walton’s time with the Warriors could help him appeal to Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, though.

Monty Williams, who coached well in New Orleans, would be a solid choice. Ettore Messina brings credentials from San Antonio and internationally.

This will be a big hire for the (still?) ascending franchise.