Kings may target George Karl and Vinny Del Negro to replace Michael Malone, per reports
Interim head coach Ty Corbin is expected to be given the season, but reports indicate that Sacramento is interested in eventually bringing in someone new.
The Sacramento Kings could pursue George Karl as their next head coach, according to both Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and Sam Amick of USA Today. Tyrone Corbin, who was promoted from assistant coach to interim head coach following the team’s surprising decision to fire Michael Malone on Sunday night, is expected to be given a chance to finish out the season. According to Yahoo, “a high-ranking Kings source insisted that it is unlikely a full-time replacement will be hired during the regular season.”
Still, Amick and Wojnarowski both report that Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Pete D’Alessandro plan on eventually searching for a replacement, with Karl expected to be at the top of their list. Karl, 63, has been out of the NBA for more than a year now. He last coached in 2013, when he was named Coach of the Year and led the Denver Nuggets to a 57-25 season, though it ended with a disappointing first-round loss.
D’Alessandro, who worked in Denver before being hired by the Kings in June 2013, is familiar with Karl and “is known to be extremely fond of his style,” according to USA Today. Karl’s 2012-13 Nuggets team was fourth in the NBA in pace. This year’s Kings are playing at pace slower than all but six teams, according to NBA.com. It is believed that this slow style of play contributed to Malone’s firing.
Karl has coached 25 seasons in the NBA and has made the playoffs in all but three of them. He’s won nearly 60 percent of his regular season games, but he’s only coached in the NBA Finals once — with Seattle in 1996, a series that he lost to the Bulls in six games. His Nuggets failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs in Karl’s last four seasons in Denver.
Vinny Del Negro is another name floated as a possible coach for the Kings. No source is connected to the Kings’ interest in him, but in his report on the King’s decision to fire Malone, Wojnarowski singles Del Negro out as “another possible long-term candidate.”
Del Negro has been out of the NBA for a year after being fired by the Los Angeles Clippers following the 2013 season. In five years as a coach — three with the Clippers and two before that with the Chicago Bulls — he has a 210-184 record. His team’s made the playoffs in four of those five years, but never advanced past the second round.