Update: Kings release:
Today, Sacramento Kings General Manager Vlade Divac announced that Dave Joerger has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the team.
“After evaluating the season, I determined that we need to move in a different direction in order to take us to the next level,” said Kings General Manager Vlade Divac. “On behalf of the entire Kings organization, I want to thank Dave for his contributions to our team and I wish him all the best.”
Who won the power struggle?
General manager Vlade Divac, who got a long-term contract and is ousting both Joerger and Williams.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Kings GM Vlade Divac is planning to fire coach Dave Joerger in a face-to-face meeting today, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2019
Marc Stein of The New York Times:
Amid reports that Kings coach Dave Joerger's job is in jeopardy, league sources say that Sacramento would have interest in Luke Walton should they decide to go through with a coaching change
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 11, 2019
Can confirm @wojespn report that Kings GM Vlade Divac will fire coach Dave Joerger today. Lakers coach Luke Walton – if available – is the clear frontrunner here, per sources. Former New Orleans coach Monty Williams is also a strong candidate, as is Spurs asst. Ettore Messina.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 11, 2019
Divac has made the decision that Williams will not return next season.
Zach Lowe of ESPN:
The Kings have also dismissed Chris Clark, their long-time director of media relations, sources say — to give you an extent of how wide-ranging the upheaval is going to be there today.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) April 11, 2019
The Kings just had their best season in 13 years. And this is how they follow it?
This organization is so dysfunctional.
Maybe getting rid of Joerger and Williams is a step toward fixing the dysfunction. Or maybe it’s a symptom of persistent dysfunction.
Divac has earned some leeway to build the franchise, but these moves add pressure.
Joerger did an excellent job this season. He helped Sacramento form an identity as a fast-paced team. He helped players develop. He found just enough balance on a team overflowing with young players looking to establish themselves.
Perhaps, there’s good reason to fire Joerger. When the Grizzlies fired Joerger a few years ago, Memphis general manager Chris Wallace said, “The decision was not about Dave’s in-game coaching. Dave did an admirable job managing games. However, being an NBA head coach is about more than just coaching a 48 minute game.” We don’t know everything about Joerger’s performance.
But replacing him won’t be easy. This brings up memories of the Kings firing Michael Malone, who coached well then got dumped anyway.
It puts only more scrutiny on the replacement.
Luke Walton could be fine, but he isn’t necessarily available. The Lakers are in limbo. And it’s not as if Walton coached so well in Los Angeles that he clearly warrants another NBA head-coaching job. Walton’s time with the Warriors could help him appeal to Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, though.
Monty Williams, who coached well in New Orleans, would be a solid choice. Ettore Messina brings credentials from San Antonio and internationally.
This will be a big hire for the (still?) ascending franchise.