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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Articles tagged: Sacramento Kings

Mike D’Antoni will reportedly interview for 1 head coach position

Mike D'Antoni smiling

Dec 29, 2019; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni reacts during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Mike D’Antoni is once again in the running for an NBA head coaching position.

D’Antoni will interview for the vacant Sacramento Kings head coaching job, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Former Golden State Warriors coach and current ESPN commentator Mark Jackson will also speak to the Kings about the job.

The Kings are certainly eyeing experience here, at least based on these names. Jackson and D’Antoni have both been head coaches before. D’Antoni is the more prominent name, as he has a long track record of success with both the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. He spent last season working as a coaching advisor for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Several other experienced names have been linked to the Sacramento opening, though D’Antoni’s name keeps coming up. There is clearly some level of mutual interest at this stage, though the Kings’ search does not appear close to its conclusion.

George Karl fires back at DeMarcus Cousins over criticism

George Karl on the sideline

Mar 15, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings head coach George Karl reacts during an NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Lakers 106-98. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

George Karl coached DeMarcus Cousins for a brief time with the Sacramento Kings, and the former coach did not appreciate the recent comments Cousins made about the franchise.

In an interview with Marc J. Spears that was published on Monday, Cousins said one of his career regrets is not skipping his pre-draft workout with the Kings. The veteran big man wishes he snubbed Sacramento prior to the 2010 NBA Draft to discourage them from picking him. Why? Cousins says the Kings are a losing franchise who “sucked” before he got there, when he was there, and after he left.

Cousins spoke about how many different coaches he had during his time in Sacramento. He also asked what team ever did for him. Karl provided an answer to that question.

Karl and Cousins did not get along during their time together with the Kings. It was obvious that Karl wanted nothing to do with the four-time All-Star. The two have not smoothed things over since, and this is not the first time Karl has thrown shade at Cousins publicly.

Cousins is certainly right that the Kings have been a losing franchise for a long time. You can understand why he feels like a portion of his career was wasted in Sacramento.

DeMarcus Cousins offers harsh comments about former team

DeMarcus Cousins smiling

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Cousins offered some extremely harsh comments about one of his former teams.

Cousins is currently with the Denver Nuggets, which is the second team for whom he has played this season (Milwaukee was the other). Cousins also played for two seasons before that.

Even though he is now on his seventh team, there was a time when Cousins was a franchise player. That was a while ago.

From 2010-2017, Cousins was a center for the Sacramento Kings, averaging double-doubles and making 3 All-Star Games. But Cousins also faced criticism and disciplinary issues while in Sacramento and eventually was traded to the Pelicans.

It’s safe to say that there is no love lost between Cousins and his first NBA team.

In an interview with Marc J. Spears published on Monday, Cousins said if he could re-do one thing in his career, it would have been skipping his pre-draft workout for the Kings so they wouldn’t have drafted him.

“I would’ve skipped my draft workout [in Sacramento],” Cousins told Spears when asked what he would have done differently in his career.

Cousins offered more harsh opinions on the Kings.

“They sucked before I got there. They sucked when I was there. They sucked after I left,” he said of the Kings.

Sacramento has struggled since their strong teams around the 2000s under Rick Adelman. They haven’t made the playoffs since the 2005-2006 season, so it’s not like Cousins is wrong. There was also acrimony between Cousins and the Kings by the time his tenure with the team ended, which is part of the reason he dislikes them so much.

Sacramento cycled through different owners, general managers, and coaches during Cousins’ time there. They have continued to make curious moves, like firing Michael Malone and Dave Joerger as head coaches.

Cousins’ career went downhill after leaving Sacramento, but that’s because he tore his Achilles’ tendon, which led to other leg injuries. He has found a nice home in Denver. Even if he’s a bench player now, the 31-year-old center is probably happy to no longer deal with the Sacramento dysfunction.

Mark Jackson could get another shot as NBA coach?

Mark Jackson in a suit

It has been nearly a decade now since Mark Jackson last coached in the NBA, but it may not be too late for him to pull a Tony LaRussa.

The former Golden State Warriors coach Jackson was mentioned by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday as a person expected to be considered for the Sacramento Kings head coaching vacancy. The Kings are looking for a new coach after deciding not to bring back interim coach Alvin Gentry.

The 57-year-old Jackson has maintained that he would still like to coach in the NBA. However, several years have passed since Jackson was actually mentioned in connection with a job. The last time appears to have been in 2019 with this notable team.

Jackson coached the Warriors from 2011 to 2014 and led them from 23 wins and the lottery to 51 wins and the playoffs within two seasons. He was fired after his third season with the team however, and unsavory details emerged afterwards about his time in Golden State.

Since then, Jackson has become entrenched as a mainstay in ESPN’s NBA broadcast booth along with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy. While several other candidates are also expected to draw consideration, a job with the cartoonish Kings may pose Jackson’s best chance of getting back in the league again.

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports

Kings eyeing two-time Coach of the Year as Alvin Gentry replacement?

Alvin Gentry smiles during a game

The Sacramento Kings on Monday informed interim head coach Alvin Gentry that he will not be retained, and they are planning to conduct an extensive search for his replacement. One of the biggest names that is reportedly on Sacramento’s list is Mike D’Antoni.

NBA reporter Marc Stein said Monday that D’Antoni is among the veterans who are being considered for the Kings job. Others include Terry Stotts, Mike Brown and Steve Clifford. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski provided a few more names.

Of all those potential candidates, D’Antoni may be the most intriguing. The 70-year-old worked as an advisor for the New Orleans Pelicans and their head coach Willie Green this season, but he hinted a few months back at a potential return to coaching.

D’Antoni was last the head coach of the Houston Rockets two years ago. He worked as an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets last season before moving to an advisor position in New Orleans. He was a finalist for one job last summer, so it is not as if he has walked away from the game by any means.

D’Antoni was named NBA Coach of the Year with the Phoenix Suns in 2005 and Houston Rockets in 2017. The Kings are coming off a 30-52 season and have not made the playoffs since 2006. You can understand why they might want someone with a resume as impressive as D’Antoni’s.

Photo: Feb 28, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry smiles in the second quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Kings guard thinks team is doing something shady to him?

Vivek Ranadive in a suit

The Sacramento Kings have been described as NBA hell, and one of their own players would probably agree with that sentiment.

Kings insider James Ham of ESPN 1320 reported this week that Kings guard Donte DiVincenzo is unhappy with the team and thinks that his playing time has been mishandled since he arrived in Sacramento.

“DiVincenzo and his group, his team, are not at all happy with the Kings,” said Ham. “They believe that the Kings, very specifically, did not start him down the stretch of the season to limit his value in free agency.”

Ham adds that DiVincenzo, who is a restricted free agent this offseason, would have been eligible for a higher qualifying offer (roughly $7.9 million) if he had made 15 more starts this season (to bring his total to 82 starts over the last two seasons). Instead, DiVincenzo is only eligible for a qualifying offer of about $6.6 million this summer.

DiVincenzo arrived from Milwaukee in a trade last February. Though he is a quality player who started 66 games for the eventual champion Bucks last season, DiVincenzo has made just one total start in 24 appearances this season for Sacramento. Instead, 33-year-old Justin Holiday has been starting over the 25-year-old DiVincenzo.

Granted, every team in the NBA engages in some sort of financial posturing and strategizing ahead of the offseason. But the Kings seem to have angered the player in the process, which isn’t even the first time this season alone that one of their own has been upset with them.

Photo: October 29, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive celebrates during the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Sleep Train Arena. The Warriors defeated the Kings 95-77. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kings are not happy about Domantas Sabonis’ suspension

Domantas Sabonis next to an official

The Sacramento Kings took an unusual step on Wednesday when disputing a suspension handed down to one of their players.

The NBA announced on Wednesday that Domantas Sabonis was suspended one game for making contact with an official while aggressively confronting the referee late in an ugly loss to the New York Knicks.

Sometimes a player will express their thoughts on a suspension, but it’s rare to see a team do so. But that’s what the Kings did.

“We disagree with the NBA’s decision to suspend Domantas Sabonis,” the team said in a statement. “He is a consummate professional and the ultimate competitor. We stand behind Domas, and he has our full support.”

The press release was odd. The Kings may have taken that step because they want to show their newly-acquired player how much they support him. Sacramento only acquired Sabonis in a trade with Indiana last month. They’re 4-7 in games he has played for them.

Tyrese Haliburton takes shot at Kings over trade

Tyrese Haliburton dribbles the ball

The Sacramento Kings surprised many by giving up standout second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton to acquire Domantas Sabonis from the Indiana Pacers. Haliburton himself was among them, and he did not sound pleased with the situation when speaking Thursday.

Haliburton spoke after arriving in Indiana and hinted at his displeasure with how the Kings treated him. The 21-year-old admitted that he understood this was part of the business, but added that he had invested himself in Sacramento and the organization “got rid of me.”

On one hand, Haliburton does sound understanding of the reality of the NBA. This also marks the first time he’s ever been traded, which surely adds to the shock of it all.

That said, the Kings don’t have the best reputation around the NBA. They have struggled to attract free agents and develop their own stars. Haliburton was a talented young player who openly embraced the challenge of turning the organization around, and they shipped him out of town before he’d finished his second NBA season. No wonder fans — and Haliburton — would be frustrated by such a move, no matter what it brings back.

Photo: Jan 31, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) dribbles up court against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrese Haliburton reportedly ‘shocked’ Kings traded him

Tyrese Haliburton dribbles the ball

The Sacramento Kings made a blockbuster trade on Tuesday to acquire star big man Domantas Sabonis, but the reaction to the deal was not all positive. NBA fans and analysts were stunned that the Kings gave up Tyrese Haliburton, and those feelings were shared by the young point guard.

Haliburton was “shocked” when he learned he had been traded to the Indiana Pacers, according to ESPN’s Mark Jones.

The Kings probably did not want to include Haliburton in the deal, but they obviously really wanted Sabonis. It’s unlikely that the Pacers would have accepted the trade without Haliburton in it.

Haliburton is averaging 14.3 points and 7.4 assists per game in his second NBA season. He has made over 40 percent of his three-point attempts this season and is still just 21. His ceiling seems quite high, which is why no one expected the Kings to deal him.

Photo: Jan 31, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) dribbles up court against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Domantas Sabonis traded for Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield in blockbuster

Domantis Sabonis

The Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings completed a blockbuster trade on Tuesday.

With two days until the NBA’s trade deadline, the Pacers have sent star big man Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb and Justin Holiday to the Kings in exchange for Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news. Sacramento will also get a future second-round pick in the deal.

Sabonis is the biggest name in the trade, but the NBA world was shocked to see the Kings unload Haliburton. The point guard is averaging 14.3 points and 7.4 assists per game in his second NBA season. He has made over 40 percent of his three-point attempts this season and is still just 21.

Sabonis has been a double-double machine in recent years. He is averaging 18.9 points and 12.1 rebounds per game this year. There were rumors that he might wind up with a different team, but the Kings stepped in with the big offer.

Indiana is 19-36 and has little shot at reaching the playoffs this season, so they’re looking toward the future. The Kings entered Tuesday with a record of 20-35, but they are just two games out of the 10th spot in the Western Conference.

Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports