Jeff Hornacek has compassion for Tyrone Corbin, whose status as the Kings’ coach is in question as the team continues to negotiate with George Karl to take over.
Hornacek knows Corbin well. He was an assistant under Corbin in Utah from 2011 to 2013 before becoming Phoenix’s coach.
“Ty’s an ultimate professional,” Hornacek said before Sunday’s Kings-Suns game at Sleep Train Arena. “He’s going to go out there and try to get this team to go the best he can.”
As Hornacek pointed out, Corbin also dealt with speculation about his job last season. Corbin was in the last season of his contract with the Jazz, which did not renew his deal, then became the lead assistant on Michael Malone’s staff.
“All the other stuff that goes on, he’s been through it before in Utah,” Hornacek said. “It’s a tough thing to go through, but he’s excellent at handling these situations. But who knows what will happen?”
Corbin said Sunday he still did not want to comment on the Karl discussions.
Looking for Landry – The Kings’ second unit has been maligned most of the season for blowing leads or being on the floor when a close game gets out of hand.
Early in the season, Carl Landry was one of Sacramento’s more reliable reserves, but his playing time has been reduced lately. He entered Sunday’s game averaging 6.3 minutes in his previous three games and scored just five points in those games.
For a bench seeking stability, Landry could help. Corbin said getting Landry involved more was on his agenda.
“We’d like to,” Corbin said. “We’d like to get some points in the paint to slow the defense down and making them play against our offensive sets on the defensive end.”
Corbin said defensive matchups play a role in how he uses Landry. Against teams like Phoenix, Corbin said he wants to make sure his power forwards can match up against big men who can shoot from the perimeter.
Early departure – Phoenix guard Eric Bledsoe missed Sunday’s game, leaving for Alabama for the birth of his child.
Former Kings starter Isaiah Thomas replaced Bledsoe in the starting lineup. Thomas received plenty of applause in his first game at Sleep Train Arena being introduced as a starter for another team.
Thomas came off the bench in his first game back in Sacramento in December.