After a season full of turmoil, the Sacramento Kings have announced the firing of head coach George Karl. The decision to part ways with the 64-year-old doesn't come as a major surprise to anybody who has been following the team.
Several disagreements and issues off the court coupled with bad performances on the hardwood meant that Karl's firing was almost inevitable.
Per ESPN, Kings general manager Vlade Divac wanted to make the coaching change in February but the franchise's minority owners decided against it.
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According to ESPN's Mark Stein, the call to make the change now was made by Divac who insisted on it as part of his recent contract extension with the team.
"As I assessed the team over the course of the season and its trajectory moving forward, it became clear that a coaching change was needed," Divac said in a statement.
"Sometimes situations call for a different perspective on the bench and this falls into that category. I have nothing but respect for George and I wish him the best."
Sacramento ended the regular season with a 33-49 record and have missed out on the playoffs for a 10th successive year.
Karl, who is fifth in wins among head coaches on the NBA's all-time list, said in a statement: "While I would have loved to continue on this journey, I am very proud of our work and I want to thank Kings management for the opportunity to have coached this exciting team with such a bright future.
"It's my heartfelt feeling that the magnificent new arena will be hosting many playoff runs and an eventual championship, which the Sacramento fans, some of the most loyal and supportive people I've ever known in my many years in the NBA, very much deserve."
The Kings' next coach will be their ninth since 2006-07, the most in the league in that span. Stability is something Sacramento crave and have been missing for far too long.
In Cousins, they have arguably the most dominant center in the game today, but with a revolving door of coaches, since he was drafted in 2010, they are fortunate that he has remained patient with the team's front office and is determined to make things work with the California-based outfit.
Kevin McHale, Mark Jackson, Vinny Del Negro, and Nate McMillan are among the candidates on the shortlist to take the reigns, per ESPN. Sacramento also has strong interest in Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks, but is aware that competition for the two will be fierce this summer, according to Mark Stein.
The Kings will be moving to a new arena for the 2016/17 season and will hope that a change in fortunes will come with it.