The Sacramento Kings are wrapping up another dysfunctional, non-playoff season Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets, and a move that has seemed like a foregone conclusion for months will apparently finally come to fruition.
According to ESPN, and previously reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, the Kings plan to fire head coach George Karl on Thursday.
Karl was hired during the 2015 All-Star break to replace Tyrone Corbin, and the team has a 44-67 record since he took over. Conflicts with star center DeMarcus Cousins have marked his relatively brief tenure, and speculation about Karl’s status has been nearly constant and at times bizarre.
Karl is not without fault for his upcoming firing, with questions about his practice policies and defensive schemes from within the organization. The Kings are also moving into a new arena next season, so owner Vivek Ranadive surely wants to make a change to help end what is now a 10-season playoff drought for the franchise.
At 64 years old with health concerns, Karl’s coaching career may be over. With Wednesday night’s result obviously pending, Karl has a 1,175-823 regular season record with six teams, and he won 2013 NBA Coach of the Year with the Denver Nuggets. Escaping Sacramento may be enough for Karl to put himself out there as a candidate for other coaching jobs, but with around $10 million in guaranteed money reportedly left on his Kings contract, Karl’s motivation to keep grinding and managing personalities is a big question.