Report: Kings plan to fire George Karl in coming days
For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.
Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:
ESPN sources say that the Sacramento Kings are going ahead with a coaching change and plan to fire George Karl in coming days— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 9, 2016
The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.
The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:
Rondo: "With optional shootarounds it’s tough. ... When 3 or 4 guys show up for shootaround this morning, how can you expect to win.?"— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) February 9, 2016
Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:
Rajon Rondo, Omri Casspi and Seth Curry were the only three players to attend Kings shoot around this morning, according to a team source.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) February 9, 2016
That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.