SACRAMENTO -- Dave Joerger is safe.
According to an NBA source, the Kings coach's job never was in jeopardy last week, and he is secure, as general manager Vlade Divac said in a public statement issued during Saturday's game against the Rockets.
That isn't a guarantee Joerger will coach out the rest of the season or finish the final year of his contract next season. But it's an assurance that the immediate threat is over.
Joerger will be happy to hear all that, but it still doesn't put to bed the Yahoo Sports headline from over the weekend: “Disagreement over Kings’ direction could lead to Dave Joerger’s dismissal.”
The postmortem likely will continue as reporters sift through the wreckage of another misstep in Sacramento. Someone went to the press, and the rebuttal is almost as strong as the original headline.
The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported there might be trouble brewing between Joerger and one of the Kings’ three assistant general managers.
“According to sources, Joerger has believed since last season that Kings assistant general manager Brandon Williams was on the lookout for a new coach to replace him,” Amick wrote Monday. “Yet Joerger, sources say, is not in danger of being fired anytime soon.”
Williams' ascension behind the scenes in Sacramento started soon after he joined the team. The former player-turned-front-office executive handles a lot of the Kings’ day-to-day operations.
According to Amick, Williams “was the driving force behind the training staff overhaul that pushed out longtime trainer Pete Youngman after 25 years in late August.”
Youngman, along with head athletic trainer Manny Romero, left the Kings in the span of a few weeks. The duo are highly regarded around the NBA and extremely popular within the franchise.
NBC Sports California can confirm another tidbit from Amick’s piece. While Joerger is under contract for next season, the team decided not to extend his assistant coaches' deals this summer. The group that includes Elston Turner, Duane Tichnor, Bob Thornton, Bryan Gates, Jason March, Larry Lewis and Phil Ricci all are in the final year of their contracts.
This is the same collection of coaches that has worked to develop the Kings' young core over the past two-plus seasons.
At 8-8, the Kings are one of the feel-good stories of the young NBA season. Joerger has the team playing well. That should be enough to quiet the noise, but apparently, it's not.