The Sacramento Kings fire head coach Luke Walton
After a demoralizing loss to the Utah Jazz the franchise decided it was time to let their coach go.
After dismal performances the franchise was left with no choice
The Sacramento Kings fire HC Luke Walton
According to ESPN on Sunday, the Sacramento Kings relieved coach Luke Walton of his duties. on Sunday, sources told ESPN. Walton registered a 31-41 in both of his first two seasons with the Kings and was unfortunately able to do better in this present campaign. The coach was informed of the decision a day after a 123-105 home loss to Utah. In the name of context, the Kings have lost seven of their last eight games dropping to 6-11 as they sit 12th in the Western Conference.
To add further mud to the water, several of the Kings' recent losses were at the hands of teams who for better or worse have been struggling this season. The San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves are all teams that arguably the Kings should have beaten.
Who is Luke Walton?
Luke Walton was a second-round pick in the 2003 Draft who enjoyed a 10 year career in the NBA before finally turning to coaching. Initially hired by the Golden State Warriors as an assistant in 2014, he actually had a spell as interim head coach at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, leading the Warriors to an impressive 19-0 start. Following the 2016 NBA Finals, Walton was then hired by the Los Angeles Lakers, though he would be fired after guiding LeBron James and co. to a 37-45 record as well as missing the playoffs.
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The Kings go with Alvin Gentry
According to reports, the Kings' have appointed Alvin Gentry as interim coach. Gentry, who himself has served as head coach in the NBA five times was the expected choice, although there was initial talk of Kings first-year assistant coach Doug Christie - a former Kings player and broadcaster - as a possible option for the role as well. While the move may seem sudden the Kings are just about out of wiggle room. Across his almost three seasons, Walton had a record of 68-93 which the franchise could no longer tolerate.
The harsh truth of Walton's tiime
While opinions will vary, the reality is this: The Kings have amongst the worst defensive teams in the entire league with Luke Walton at the helm. Across this season and the previous one, they have ranked 26th in defensive efficiency. In fact the the list of 'accolades' only gets worse as Sacramento also ranks 26th in defensive rebounding percentage, 29th in paint points per game allowed and last in the league in second-chance points per game allowed, according to ESPN. In all the Kings and Walton are simply not a good fit.
If that weren't enough, it is again Sacramento who can boast an unfortunate achievement being the team that has gone the longest without making the playoffs in the NBA (since 2006). In that time the Kings have seen 10 different coaches.