The end seems nigh for the Sacramento Kings and head coach George Karl.
Call it a rocky pairing at best, a marriage between a stubborn guy like Karl who will go out of his way to say any player on the team is tradeable while knowing he has to balance erratic personalities like Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins.
The result is an 11th slot in the Western Conference at 29-45, playoff aspirations that were formerly realistic now a punchline. Now Karl talks about resting players down the stretch, fully submitting to the fate of the mediocre season. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee captured the situation:
Postgame Karl said there might be more games where players rest, especially in back-to-backs. Said they’d be organizational decisions
— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) March 29, 2016
It doesn’t stop there.
Now the organization potentially talks about moving on from the director of the ship, according to Denver radio host Sandy Clough on Colorado Sports Guys Podcast:
It centered on Sacramento’s obvious attempt – attempts, plural — to get George to resign so they don’t have to pay him the $10 million they owe him on the remainder of his contract, which everybody knows, including George, more than anybody else. That’s exactly what’s going on. And actually his relationship with Cousins, at least at that point, was probably better than his relationship with any other element or person in the organization.
Weird with the season almost over, right? Why not just let this train run off the tracks until the season concludes, then make the move? It’s not like getting rid of Karl will fix things, as the standings won’t improve and the broken chemistry doesn’t figure to, either.
Either way it makes for an odd end-of-season stretch, especially with Karl now understanding the front office wants him gone. The brass value the players over the coach, which isn’t much of a shocker with the way things wound up with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this year.
Sacramento has to focus on a rebuild now, one without Karl. Rajon Rondo hits free agency and the goal should be finding a way to keep him around with Cousins. More importantly, the front office needs to find and stick with a coach who meshes well with Cousins, because sooner rather than later Boogie can just take a walk and leave the Kings as yet another mediocre organization without a franchise centerpiece.
The Kings have dug this whole for themselves and now have to find a way out.
Karl doesn’t have the shovel. Does anyone?