The Sacramento Kings fired head coach George Karl on Thursday, according to several reports.
Despite giving Karl a four-year contract after hiring him in February 2015, Karl didn’t even last two full seasons with the Kings.
The move was inevitable. Karl got off to a rocky start with DeMarcus Cousins, the team’s star center, and the two feuded throughout the year. The Kings finished just 33-49, missing the playoffs for the 10th year in a row.
Karl’s tenure was marked by drama, when reports surfaced that Cousins and his camp opposed the hire in the first place.
From there, Karl buried himself further when he said Cousins was not untradeable, upsetting Cousins quite noticeably. While the two sides had reportedly made up at the start of the season, reports throughout the season indicated that Cousins often lashed out at Karl. After one such incident, the Kings suspended Cousins. He then blamed the suspension on Karl to the media.
Karl is gone, and the Kings are looking for a new head coach for the fifth time in four years. Coaches haven’t been able to stick in Sacramento due to poor results, impatient management, and, of course, Cousins’ volatility. The one coach he liked, Mike Malone, was fired after a poor stretch of play in the 2014-15 season.
It’s surely an unappealing job for most coaches due to the current conditions. There is, however, a bevy of talented coaches on the free-agent market, and if the Kings can show the slightest bit of stability, they could potentially landed one of them.
How long that relationship could last, however, will remain to be seen.