Leading Off

In George Karl, Sacramento Kings finally hire proven NBA coach

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2013 file photo, Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl directs his team against the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter of an NBA game in Denver.
FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2013 file photo, Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl directs his team against the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter of an NBA game in Denver. AP

George Karl is the Kings’ first proven NBA coach since the Maloofs’ ill-fated decision to fire Rick Adelman nearly nine years ago.

Karl’s résumé even surpasses Adelman’s. Karl is the sixth-winningest coach in NBA history with more regular-season victories than the Kings have had during the Sacramento-era that began in 1985 (1,131 vs. 1,014).

After Adelman was fired on May 8, 2006, despite going 395-229 (.633) and leading the Kings to the playoffs in all eight of his seasons, the team hired a series of mostly inexperienced, first-time coaches. Even though Paul Westphal had seven years of experience as an NBA head coach when the Kings hired him in 2009, it had been eight years since he coached Seattle.

After Adelman, the Kings were coached by Eric Musselman (33-49), Reggie Theus (44-62), Kenny Natt (11-47), Westphal (51-120), Keith Smart (48-93), Michael Malone (39-67) and Tyrone Corbin (7-21).

None of these coaches have been a head coach in the NBA since they were dismissed by the Kings.

We’re not saying Karl will lead the Kings to the playoffs this season or even next, but all five of the previous teams he’s coached – the Cavaliers, Warriors, Sonics, Bucks and Nuggets – made the playoffs in 22 of his 25 seasons. Now in their 30th season in Sacramento, the Kings have made the playoffs just 10 times – and just twice with coaches not named Adelman.

– Tom Couzens

tcouzens@sacbee.com


What to watch

Golf, Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, noon, GOLF: No Tiger and no Phil, but the scenery at Pebble Beach makes it worth watching.


What to do

Men’s college basketball, Cal State Fullerton at UC Davis, 7 p.m., the Pavilion: The Aggies look to increase their lead in the Big West Conference.


Worth repeating

Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie, after firing Adelman: “The dynamic that needed to be there to help it move forward just wasn’t there.”

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