Reports: Concern from DeMarcus Cousins’ camp has stalled George Karl to Kings talks
It is common in the NBA for a team to at least consult their franchise player when looking to make a big move, for example a coaching change.
The Kings did not do that with DeMarcus Cousins when they surprisingly fired coach Mike Malone mid-season. Sacramento has gone 6-19 since that move, and DeMarcus Cousins has shown flashes of regression to some of his old, bad habits.
This time the Kings did reach out to Cousins about the potential hiring of George Karl as the new head coach — talks that were making progress — but concerns from Cousins may have stopped that momentum. From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Sources: Resolution one way or another by Sunday, but w/o hiring of Karl, Kings prepared to play out season with Ty Corbin as interim.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2015
Sources: Rapidly diminishing belief within factions - Kings, George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins' camps - that Karl becomes Sacramento's coach.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2015
Former Kings beat writer and now USA Today scribe Sam Amick is well connected in Sacramento and adds to the report:
There is serious resistance to George Karl possibility from some Kings minority owners too. Lead owner Vivek Ranadive hearing from all sides— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 8, 2015
This is quite a fork in the road for Kings franchise in Vivek Ranadive era: who's running the show, management or the DeMarcus Cousins camp?— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 8, 2015
That last point by Amick is important. Cousins is a more traditional center and while he’s a beast when he gets out and runs he may be concerned that his role would be diminished in a George Karl offense. Karl’s offense is more point guard centric and he likes bigs who can space the floor a little. Cousins can certainly work in and even star in that kind of offense, but it’s not necessarily built around him.
The question is: What kind of team does Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé want to build? He was starting to build a structured, defense-frist one under Malone and fired him because he wanted to go more up tempo. If that’s the case, Karl is a good fit.
The Kings need to pick one rebuilding plan, stick with it and get the players to fit it. The worst franchises are the ones that never let a system take root and change it every couple years.