Report: Kings in ‘intense conversations’ with George Karl about becoming head coach


The Kings have won just once in their last 10 games, and though the team signed head coach Tyrone Corbin for the remainder of the season after firing Mike Malone in mid-December, it appears as though they may look to make a change sooner rather than later.

That shrinks the list of available candidates considerably, because without seeing who gets cut loose at the end of the season, and without having access to any of the league’s top assistants, the field is limited to those who are experienced but out-of-work currently, and open to taking on a midseason project.

George Karl is one name that’s surfaced, most recently in regard to the situation with the Magic. But it appears as though Sacramento may be making a move to lock him up, with perhaps an All-Star break installation on the horizon.

From Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

The Kings are engaged in intense conversations with George Karl about their head coaching position, multiple sources have told The Bee.

Assistant Tyrone Corbin replaced Michael Malone on Dec. 14 after the Kings faltered to a 2-8 record during DeMarcus Cousins’ absence due to viral meningitis. The plan was to have Corbin complete the season, conduct an extensive coaching search, and give the incoming coach the benefit of an entire offseason and training camp. …

But the Kings’ ongoing slump – and jarring absence of competitiveness – has prompted principal owner Vivek Ranadive and his front office, headed by general manager Pete D’Alessandro, to move more quickly.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

But questions remain about whether the recent progress on their talks will result in Karl’s hiring. One person who is involved in the process described the situation as “not in the red zone just yet” but said it had recently advanced.

The Kings made a huge mistake by firing Malone in the first place — he had the team playing to its strength, defending well, and (perhaps most importantly in Sacramento) had the ear and the effort of DeMarcus Cousins.

Cousins has slipped considerably since then, and so have the Kings.

The franchise parted ways with Malone under the guise of wanting to play a more uptempo style. If that truly is what ownership is looking for, Karl is the right man for the job — whether or not the roster is constructed in a way that the team can be successful doing so, however, is another matter entirely.

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Report: Kings could change coaches during All-Star break


The Kings stunningly fired Michael Malone mid-season, but they tried to create a veneer of stability by signing lead assistant Tyrone Corbin to a new contract as the team’s coach for the rest of the season.

If you thought that would work, you haven’t paid attention to how Sacramento operates under owner Vivek Ranadivé.

From PBT’s own Aaron Bruski:

Corbin has gone just 6-18, and he’s not the Kings’ long-term answer. But what did they expect? Malone led Sacramento to a strong start before DeMarcus Cousins got hurt, and any midseason change causes turbulence. Corbin has fared about as well as to be expected.

There’s nothing wrong with moving on from Corbin, but why now?

Perhaps, the Kings are worried about Orlando – which just fired Jacque Vaughn – swooping in taking their preferred candidate. George Karl, a reported Sacramento target, is among the coaches who could fit the Magic. Unsurprisingly, Karl is campaigning for the job.

Or maybe the Kings are just leaking this in order to make it look like they’re doing something. That might temporarily placate Cousins, who’s had more problematic issues since Malone’s firing, but they’d do better by Cousins by actually doing something productive.

This is a strange development in Sacramento, but as long as Ranadivé operates as he has, nothing is too surprising.

Who will be next coach in Orlando? I don’t know, but expect a yeller.


Jacque Vaughn believes in the power of positivity. He was trying to develop a bounty of young players in Orlando using minutes as the water, hard word as the good soil, and positive comments as sunshine. There certainly were some successes, players such as Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton have developed well under him.

But the Magic did not coalesce as a team — they are a bottom five team on both offense and defense, they are 15-37 and have lost 10 straight.

That led to Vaughn getting fired on Thursday.

So who is the next coach in Orlando? (Well, after interim coach James Borrego.) What direction will the organization go?

Expect a yeller.

Maybe that’s too harsh. Still, don’t expect the next coach to be the kind of guy that puts his arm around a player and has a few encouraging words after a rough night. Expect a coach who gets in players’ faces, who is very vocal about accountability, who is a bit of an old-school disciplinarian.

Management is saying all the usual things about casting a wide net and getting the best available guy, but what they seem to be looking for is a bit  of a culture change in that locker room. Keep the work ethic, but aside that a dramatic change of style. By the way, do you notice how often the franchises that struggle keep changing cultures rather than letting one take root? That’s the bigger picture issue in Orlando — the issues with this roster are certainly not all on Vaughn — but in the short term they likely are going for an 180-degree shift in coaching philosophies.

Here are four names to watch:

1) Scott Skiles. This is the guy Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, and everyone else, says looks like the front runner because he checks a lot of boxes for the organization. He checks the box as a popular former Magic player that the fans will embrace. He checks the box as an old-school disciplinarian. He checks the box in that his teams defend with energy. That said, his offenses have not been great, and he’s pretty much been a career .500 coach whose teams have never gone past the second round of the playoffs in his 13 seasons.

2) Mike Malone. Another name mentioned by Wojnarowski. This is the coach the Sacramento Kings brought in to create a real culture of accountability and toughness — and he did that. He got DeMarcus Cousins focused and playing the best ball of his career. So the Kings fired Malone in the middle of this season because they wanted to change their style to more of a running team. (To repeat: Do you notice how often the franchises that struggle keep changing cultures rather than letting one take root?) Malone would check the boxes as old school and a disciplinarian, plus he showed some real success in Sacramento doing what they want to do in Orlando.

3) Vinny Del Negro. Another guy mentioned as available by Wojnarowski. He’s been available for a while. The advantages he has is that he’s a fantastic interviewer who sells himself well as a player development guy, and he’s likable. To be fair, he’s a better coach than his reputation, he’s gotten teams to be respectable (it’s just the guys who came in after him got those teams to be a lot better). All that said, this would be a terrible hire for Orlando.

4) Mark Jackson. Because his name must come up for all coaching vacancies. It’s a federal law. He’s a motivator and the Warriors certainly did play defense for him, two things that would work in Orlando. But I don’t love this fit either, I’m not sure he’s the guy to develop this young roster.

DeMar DeRozan ejected for flagrantly fouling Bojan Bogdanovic

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The Raptors had lost by at least 15 points just three times since trading Rudy Gay, and all three games (each last month) were at least somewhat defensible – at the Warriors, at the Suns and vs. the Hawks.

But losing 109-93 to the Nets at home last night?

DeMar DeRozan didn’t handle that well.

DeMarcus Cousins once again stands motionless on defense, Warriors score with ease (VIDEO)


DeMarcus Cousins is putting up statistics that led commissioner Adam Silver to believe that he was a worthy injury replacement for Kobe Bryant on the Western Conference All-Star squad.

Cousins was also ejected for throwing another player to the floor, and later in the same week, was caught standing completely still on defense during one of his team’s critical late-game possessions.

He was at it again on Tuesday during Sacramento’s blowout loss to the Warriors, at least in terms of his defense. Here we have Cousins remaining motionless as his man sprints to the rim, where Stephen Curry finds him for an alley-oop off of a sideline out of bounds play.

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Sacramento did lose by 25, and it’s unclear what the time and score were at the time of this play. But this is (at least) the second time this season Cousins has quit on his teammates, which makes you wonder if Adam Silver regrets choosing him over Damian Lillard for that open All-Star spot.

[via John Schuhmann of]