Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Report: Kings’ coaching drama stems from divided front office

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 08: Vice president of basketball operations and general manager of the Sacramento Kings Vlade Divac watches warmups before the team’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers at T-Mobile Arena on October 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Los Angeles won 75-69. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The Kings reportedly could fire coach Dave Joerger.

At center of the dispute? Joerger playing veteran Nemanja Bjelica – who, not for nothing, has been instrumental to Sacramento’s surprising 10-8 start – over No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III.

But calling this a management-vs.-coach issue is an oversimplification. There are different factions in the front office – namely CEO Matina Kolokotronis, general manager Vlade Divac and assistant general manager Brandon Williams.

Sam Amick of The Athletic:

Williams was and remains a major backer of Bagley
Nemanja Bjelica, was a Divac-driven addition
By all accounts, Kolokotronis’ level of influence on both the business and basketball sides is at an all-time high
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. Yet Joerger, sources say, is not in danger of being fired anytime soon.

Disagreement within a team can be healthy. Arguments can force everyone to sharpen their assessments and lead to better outcomes.

But this doesn’t sound healthy and productive.

Sacramento should enjoy its impressive season. The Kings haven’t consistently won in so long. I’m not sure they can maintain this, but they keep winning after numerous predicted drop-offs. It’s worth going for it, even if it means playing veterans over young players.

To his credit, Joerger has maintained a healthy balance amid this turmoil. Divac voiced his support of the coach, but if Williams is gaining power, that could cost Joerger. Kolokotronis’ stance is unclear.

Who will ultimately win a power struggle? That it even exists is problematic enough.

That issue starts at the top.