SACRAMENTO -- The job Dave Joerger has done with the young Sacramento Kings in not going unnoticed around the league. At 27-25, Joerger’s team has already matched their season win total from a season ago and they still have 30 games remaining on the schedule.
During his conversation with Monte Poole on The Warriors Insider Podcast, former coach turned ESPN and ABC television analyst Jeff Van Gundy had nothing but praise for the Kings’ head coach.
"I think Dave Joerger should be in the running for Coach of the Year,” Van Gundy said. “I think he's done a tremendous job."
Sighting the Kings’ long history of struggles, Van Gundy heaped praise on Sacramento’s franchise, which is a rarity to hear from folks in the national media.
“I think to try to lose for as many years as the Kings have lost and then figure a way to break through mentally, I give everyone in their organization a lot of credit.”
Van Gundy was part of the broadcasting team that covered the preseason game in Seattle where the Golden State ran over the Kings by a final of 122-94. Like most NBA observers, Van Gundy didn’t see this kind of success for Sacramento this season.
“I thought they were one of the worst teams I had ever seen in my life,” Van Gundy said of his preseason view of the Kings. “They were awful. They didn’t want to be there.”
Sighting some of the more difficult decision that Joerger has had to make, including sitting veteran Zach Randolph, Van Gundy puts a lot of the credit on the Kings’ coach.
“They play entertaining basketball, they play hard and I hope it’s winning back their fanbase up there because it’s an interesting, young, dynamic team,” Van Gundy added.
Joerger’s group has a ways to go before we start talking about postseason awards, but the fact that they are just a game and a half out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff chase in the month of February is a monumental accomplishment.