18 February 2016

The Kings should cut to the chase and fire George Karl

(David Richard/USATSI)
It wasn't that long ago where the Kings seemed poised to fire head coach George Karl but naturally, they backed off. Even then as Sacramento prepares to return from the All-Star Break on Friday night, it still seems as if there's issues between the two. Case in point being the team firing one of Karl's assistants, Vance Wahlberg, last night. Considering that Wahlberg is considered to be a close ally of Karl's. it clearly was a strike across the bow. No wonder that Karl said that he was "disappointed and confused" by the news.

Considering we all know where this is head, it's time for the Kings to stop this pussyfooting around and fire Karl.

I've never been a big fan of teams across sports when it's all but a foregone conclusion that they're going to dump the coach, instead of standing up, making the move and moving on, they'll keep the coach in limbo while either ousting his (or her) allies or undercutting them when possible. The firing of Wahlberg fits that rather neatly.

What makes this a little amusing is this quote from GM Vlade Divac regarding the firing:
Obviously (Karl) didn’t like it, but I felt like we had to do something to shake things up.
Usually when these kind of firings occur, you just get the last part of the sentence which is a pretty standard explanation for a decision regarding any sort of change. What I find notable is that Divac minces no words that his coach would not be happy with this move. For a decision like this, you really don't see the head coach mentioned like that as it clearly insinuates that he's not on board with that decision.

Karl says that blaming an assistant for the team's struggles, particularly on defense, is wrong and that the criticism should be on him, and he's right. If the front office has an issue with the team's performance, and they clearly do, then they should take it up with Karl instead of pulling a weak-kneed move like firing an assistant.

Moves like these are why people continue to look at the Kings organization as a joke and help make it clear that Divac is in over his head running personnel operations. Karl has been a bad fit with the Kings as his 33-50 record indicates as well as his past clashes with star center DeMarcus Cousins. Firing him wouldn't help combat the dysfunction label, but it's still better than leaving him as the proverbial dead man walking.

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