The Sacramento Kings have zeroed in on George Karl as the frontrunner to become the new coach, but the agents representing star DeMarcus Cousins are opposed to the hiring, according to reports.
Why are they opposed? Apparently they’re upset about some past interactions with Karl.
“Cousins’ day-to-day agent, Jarrin Akana, worked with Karl in Denver and was re-assigned from assistant coach to scout when Karl took over for coach Jeff Bzdelik in 2005. Dan Fegan, Cousins’ lead agent, represented Karl’s son, Coby, as a player for years before he was eventually replaced. That circle, by all accounts, has been against the notion of adding Karl,” reported USA Today.
Sources confirmed to Yahoo that Cousins’ agents have been resisting the hire, and that the resistance stalled the talks.
However, since the initial reports on February 8, the two sides have made progress. For one, Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro has been pushing the deal, trying to convince Cousins’ agents as well as others in the organization opposed to the hiring.
“As of Sunday evening, there were signs that the resistance from Cousins’ camp was waning and that the two sides could be nearing a deal,” Sam Amick of USAT reported.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo said late Sunday that D’Alessandro’s determination has kept the deal alive.
The Kings and Ty Corbin, the interim coach since the Mike Malone firing, met on Sunday night, and he left the arena as the Kings coach.
Sources told Wojnarowski early Monday that the Kings and Karl’s representative are re-engaging on Monday. “Front office has recommended hiring, deal terms are close. it’s on owners now,” he said.
Also, despite the reports, one of Cousins’ agents told Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee that they’re not blocking the Kings-Karl deal. If the team wants Karl, then “make the move” the unnamed agent said. “We don’t run the team.”
“Kings/Karl camps both gone quiet. Silence usually a sign parties close. D’Alessandro really been pushing hard for this to happen,” she added.
“I hear the logjam between George Karl and the Kings has been roughly broken. It’s the basis (but not the nexis) of a deal,” added Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
“Source: Either George Karl is the Kings coach on Tuesday, or probably never.”
Cousins himself didn’t really answer when asked about the situation.