The Sacramento Kings shouldn’t really be as newsworthy as they are at this point in the NBA season, and yet they are finding new, creative ways to drive home just what a joke of a franchise they are. They’ve gone 4-21 over the past two months and a once-promising season has dissolved into a slurry of firings, not firings, and near mutinies. The team’s strategy of assembling a front office oriented around their 2001-2002 glory days team is a woefully misapplied Let’s Remember Some Guys session that’s cost them draft picks and their dignity.
Here’s the newest blunder: Per a radio appearance from Denver radio guy Sandy Clough, the Kings have been repeatedly attempting to persuade George Karl to retire midseason and save them from having to fire him when the summer rolls around. This would save them a boatload of money, but Karl has no incentive to not stick around for another month or so of fake basketball and collect $10 million.
This report should be taken with a grain of salt, since it’s a Denver radio guy, but it fits a pattern of passive aggressive waffling towards Karl, and it’s another window into the tumult of the Kings front office. Owner Vivek Ranadivé chased Mike Malone out of town to bring in Karl midseason last year, only to tire of Karl and his lack of control over the team half a season later. So rather than fire another coach and get the reputation as a trigger-happy owner, the Kings nuked the second half of their season (which, to be clear, would not have involved the playoffs anyway) and asked Karl to take a $10 million L.
Contracts and reputations aside, he has been utterly disastrous as a coach this season. The team has regressed across the board, they play an antiquated defensive style that’s gotten them roasted all year, and the locker room has gone toxic. Seth Curry had his first career start and helped the Kings get a rare win last night. Karl had this to say:
That’s a take from ten years ago. Curry then responded thusly.
He deleted the tweet, but he joins a long line of Karl players to refer to him as a snake in the grass. This is going to be another clear-out of an offseason, as the team will try to convince any potential coaching hire that they too won’t be cast aside in 50 games or so. There’s also the looming possibility of a minority owner-led takeover and the Kings missing their chance to trade DeMarcus Cousins while they have leverage to look forward to.
Hey there’s always the draft lottery to look forward to! Except if they win, Philly gets their pick. Damnit.