Gentry named Kings' interim coach after Walton fired


Alvin Gentry will be tasked with trying to turn the Kings' 2021-22 NBA season around.

The Kings officially named Gentry as the interim head coach after relieving Luke Walton of his duties Sunday.

“After a thorough evaluation of the season thus far, I decided to make a change to the head coach position,” Kings general manager Monte McNair wrote in a statement released by the team. “I want to thank Luke for his efforts and contributions to our team.”

The Athletic's Sam Amick, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and ABC10's Sean Cunningham first reported news that Gentry would be elevated to interim coach.

The Kings entered the season with high expectations and hoped to end their 15-year NBA playoff drought, but they have started the season 6-11 following two straight double-digit losses to the Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz at home.

Walton finishes his tenure as Kings coach with a 68-93 record. Gentry joined Walton's coaching staff as the associated head coach prior to the 2020-21 NBA season.

Gentry previously held head coaching jobs with the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns and most recently with the New Orleans Pelicans. The 67-year-old has a 510-595 career record as a head coach.

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Over the last few days, Kings players publicly supported Walton as rumors swirled about his job security. But after another tough loss at home Saturday night, McNair and the Kings decided a change was necessary. Now Gentry likely will have the rest of the season to get the ship righted in Sacramento.