The Sacramento Kings are planning to fire head coach George Karl following their season finale against the Houston Rockets, multiple outlets report. The team is 44–67 since Karl took over as coach in February 2015.
Karl is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, but at 33–48 this season, the Kings will be missing the playoffs for the 10th straight year, though this is their most wins since 2008.
News of his impending firing—despite being one of the more successful head coaches ever—shouldn’t be a surprise though.
— Slurv (@theslurv) March 29, 2016
Karl and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins have reportedly clashed numerous times in his season-and-a-half in charge. Karl, meanwhile hasn’t had the full support of the front office in dealing with the star center.
In November, the 64-year-old coach sought to suspend Cousins after a locker room tirade, but GM Vlade Divac intervened and Cousins was spared. Divac also fired one of Karl’s assistants, Vance Walberg, in February.
— FanTalk (@getfantalk) April 13, 2016
In addition, the Sacramento Bee reports that the front office also did not tell Karl that his top three players—DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison—wouldn’t be making this final two-game road trip. The Kings, which are currently tied for the eighth-worst record in the league can only keep their first-round pick if it falls outside the top 10—otherwise it goes to the Chicago Bulls. Thus a win, would actually be worse for the franchise.
Karl has a career 1,175–823 record with head-coaching stops at Cleveland, Golden State, Seattle, Milwaukee, and Denver, before coming to Sacramento last year. He’s led his team to 22 playoff appearances and has an 80–105 record in the postseason.