Sacramento Kings off-court great Jerry Reynolds will step down from his position as the team’s television color analyst following Wednesday night’s game.
Reynolds, 74, has been with the Kings in various roles since they moved to Sacramento from Kansas City 33 years ago. He amassed a 56-114 record as the team’s head coach from 1986 through 1990 and has worn many other hats, including general manager and director of player personnel.
“I feel like this is the time for me to make a transition in my career. I just don’t feel like I have the interest or the capabilities to be a full-time employee, as much as I’ve enjoyed my time with the Kings,” Reynolds said on The Kings Insider Podcast, hosted by NBC Sports California’s James Ham.
Reynolds is expected to contribute to game broadcasts and shows on NBC Sports California as well as Kings coverage on Sports 1140 KHTK, though details of the agreements have yet to be confirmed.
He told Ham he had been offered a multiyear contract before the 2017-18 season but turned it down in favor of a one-year deal.
In a 2016 interview with The Bee’s Ailene Voisin, Reynolds named his three greatest professional highlights: Mike Bibby’s jumper to clinch Game 5 of the 2001-02 conference finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, watching the Sacramento Monarchs team he helped assemble win the 2005 WNBA championship and the chemistry of the 2003-04 Kings before a visibly injured Chris Webber rushed back from a devastating knee injury.
Reynolds’ wisecracking, grandfatherly demeanor has complemented Grant Napear’s fiery personality on broadcasts since 1998.
Former shooting guard Doug Christie will take over Reynolds’ slot after announcing 10 games per season over the last few years in preparation for the French Lick, Indiana, native’s departure. Napear and Christie host a radio show on 1140 KHTK from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays.
“(Christie) doesn’t have an ego,” Napear told NBC Sports California. “He’s unbelievably prepared and he knows the game. It’s actually much easier than I thought it would be. He’s not Jerry and I don’t expect him to be Jerry.”
The Kings are reportedly planning a video tribute to Reynolds at Wednesday’s season finale against the Houston Rockets.
Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel