The Sacramento Kings haven’t been relevant in over a decade, struggling with their culture, talent and coaching. Yet by 2014, the descent appeared to slow, if not turn around. DeMarcus Cousins began to blossom, aiding the Kings with talent and then the hiring of George Karl was thought to revamp the coaching and culture.
As quickly as things appeared to change, they are appearing to change again. Karl does not want Cousins as part of the Kings’ future — expressing a desire to trade Cousins, and now the Kings owner, Vivek Ranadive, has expressed a desire to fire Karl.
Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has considered firing George Karl, who was hired as coach four months ago to help turn around the struggling franchise.
Ranadive’s displeasure with Karl stems from the coach’s desire to trade All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
No potential replacement for Karl has been mentioned or considered, and while removing Karl would appease Cousins, it would not necessarily end the dysfunction that is crippling the franchise, the source said.
“If you fire Karl, now you can’t control Cousins because he’ll know he’s running the place,” the source said. “Now he’ll feel like he’s telling you what to do.”
A huge fan of Cousins, Ranadive has been steadfast in refusing to grant Karl’s wish, but Karl’s attempts to have Cousins moved have worsened an already poor relationship between the coach and player.
There was pushback from Cousins’ camp when the Kings hired Karl, and the Sacramento Bee reported that Cousins and Karl haven’t spoken for months.
The relationship is obviously dicey, and given Karl’s history of truncated employment, it appears the coach will be gone long before the player.