The Sacramento Kings fired head coach Michael Malone on Monday, citing differences in style. Tyrone Corbin will take over as interim head coach.
Michael Malone is out as head coach of the Sacramento Kings.
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The Kings fired Malone on Sunday, Dec. 14, citing differences in styles. Management, specifically team owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Pete D'Alessandro, want the Kings to play an up-tempo style of basketball. Malone's dismissal happens at a time when the team has lost seven of its last nine games in part because of center DeMarcus Cousins' absence.He has missed the last nine games because of viral meningitis. Tyrone Corbin will take over as the interim head coach, per Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
D'Alessanrdo told the Kings' official website that it was "an extremely diffcult decision." He cited the contributions and impact Malone made on the team during his tenure. D'Alessandro also thanked Malone, who finished with a 39-67 record in just over a season at the helm, and wished him well on his future endeavors.
Malone took on an opposing stance when management wanted to pursue Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith during the summer. Ranadive and D'Alessandro were eventually unsuccessful in reaching an agreement with Detroit officials, the Yahoo Sports update adds.
The Kings got off to a fast 5-1 start, but have since tailed off in Cousins' absence. According to The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones, Ranadive expected results after a season of changing the team's culture. Apparently, an 11-13 record was not enough to spare Malone's job.
Jones notes the Kings would have been faring better this season had it not been for their propensity to give up big leads. They blew two 20-point leads last month and lost a five-point lead in the waning moments in a loss to the Houston Rockets on Dec. 11.
Another conflcit between management and Malone was hiring one of the latter's assistant coaches. Ranadive and Co. were eyeing former Phoenix Suns assistant and Los Angeles Clippers head coach Alvin Gentry. Malone went with former Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin instead, per The Sacramanto Bee.
With Malone out, the Kings are now reportedly zeroing in on former Seattle SuperSonics and Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl. ESPN's Marc Stein reported on the development on Monday, saying D'Alessandro has always held Karl in high regard dating back to their working relationship with the Nuggets.
Karl, who won the 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year Award, told SiriusXM Radio (via ESPN) that he's "humbled." He added,"If they're interested in me, I'm interested in them."
As far as other candidates are concerned, both Yahoo and ESPN say former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro is in the mix. Del Negro's experience with young stars such as Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin could potentialy be valuable in Cousins' development.
Stein also singles out former Golden State Warriors head coach and current ESPN NBA analyst Mark Jackson as another potential candidate.
Wojnarowski stresses Malone "had three years guaranteed on his $9.4 million contract."
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