The Sacramento Kings have fired their head coach, Luke Walton. Walton, a former NBA Champion as a player with the Lakers and as an Assistant coach with the Warriors, ends his tenure in Sacramento with a 68-93 record.
Luke Walton Fired As Kings Coach
The Sacramento Kings have decided to part ways with their head coach only 17 games into the season. The young yet talented roster hasn’t shown the improvement that Kings’ leadership was hoping to see and whenever that happens, a coaching change is never far behind. The Kings have lost seven of their last eight games, including their last three contests. For many Kings fans, this move comes better late than never. Walton has been on the hot seat since last season when the team suffered twin nine-game losing skids. The team went 31-41 in each of the last two seasons under Walton.
Left in Good Hands
The initial word around the league is that Walton will be replaced on an interim basis by assistant head coach Alvin Gentry. The veteran coach began his long tenure in the NBA as an assistant coach for the Kings in the 1988-89 season. Gentry looks like a good fit for this role. He has been in the league since 1988 and has been the head coach of five different NBA franchises. Although Gentry’s 510-595 career record is far from impressive, he is known around the league as a player’s coach. Gentry could be just what the Kings young core needs to find success going forward. New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson lamented the firing of Gentry, and many believe that the former head coach deserves another chance to run a team.
Life After Luke – The Kings’ Future
This early-season firing displays the expectations held by the Kings’ front office at this time. Despite a recent lack of success, this franchise believes that it has the ability to at least make a run at the postseason play-in tournament in the west. If they are going to have any chance, they will need point guard De’Aaron Fox to ascend to superstar status. Sacramento has high hopes in the frontcourt duo of Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes as well. Buddy Hield has the potential to be the second star in the Kings backcourt and they hope for a big season from sophomore Tyrese Haliburton.
While Kings fans are hoping to repeat the success the Atlanta Hawks had by making this exact move last season, the sad reality is that Gentry is unlikely to have the same magical run that Nate McMillan had. The most likely outcome here sees the Kings shipping off assets in yet another attempt in a long line of rebuilds.
Embed from Getty Images