The Sacramento Kings have gotten a lot of negative press in the last week, as George Karl continues to spar with ownership over DeMarcus Cousins.
The sad thing is, the Kings brought all of this on themselves.
“There’s been a lot of turmoil,” Sacramento Bee writer Marcos Breton said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “You had a coach in Michael Malone who was fired last December in a just horrible mistake by Kings ownership that they paid for dearly – and in a way, they’re still paying for that. They’re still paying for making the wrong personnel decisions in terms of putting the wrong people in charge from the jump when they’re buying a team on the fly. (They’ve) continued to carry over the dysfunction . . . from the previous ownership, which was about as bad as it got as far as owners were in the NBA. And so in some respects, you can’t blame DeMarcus Cousins for feeling frustrated: five coaches in five years and then the one coach that he really liked gets run out of town on a rail for no reason. So they’re paying for that.”
Needless to say, the Kings regret firing Malone.
“They do,” Breton said. “And they admitted that it was a mistake. You just don’t fire a coach in season unless you’ve lost like 10 in a row and you’ve lost the team. He had not lost the team. I think when you have a rookie owner making a lot of money in Silicon Valley – in Silicon Valley, turmoil works. Nobody stays more than a year. But in pro sports, turmoil means losing seasons. Turmoil means you can’t attract good free agents because they don’t want to come to a place that’s in turmoil. The definition (of turmoil is) when you fire a coach when he’s getting a very underperforming team to perform – and that’s the guy you choose to fire? So in many respects this week, they were still paying for that.”
It remains to be seen whether Karl and Cousins can actually get along and play nice.
“If it doesn’t work, then one of them is going to be gone,” Breton said. “This is the player that they have stated that they wanted to build around. Now, they’ve got a funny way of showing that by firing the coach that their main player liked the most without consulting with him and just sort of dropping it on all of us on a Sunday night in December just before Christmas. And so to see them tank the rest of the season, Cousins and the entire team went in the tank after that. So now if the new narrative is that Cousins and Karl can’t get along – and there’s certainly some concerning messages that came out this week. For example, when DeMarcus Cousins tweeted the symbol of a snake in the grass – very similar to what other players have tweeted about George Karl – it is a big cause for concern. This is where Vlade Divac will have to earn his money. Along with talent evaluation, (he has to get) people to get along. Because if that doesn’t fly, then it’s going to be another miserable season in Sacramento.”