City Sports Report

George Karl Would Be An Excellent Choice For The Sacramento Kings

Could George Karl be coaching again in Sacramento? (photo via www.usatoday.com)

The Sacramento Kings were playing pretty well at the start of the season. They had a focused and ready Demarcus Cousins along with Rudy Gay on the wing. Both were playing off each other well and the Kings were getting good play from newly-signed point guard Darren Collison. Kings head coach Mike Malone had them playing well. Then, in an unexpected move, the Kings inexplicably fired Malone. And just like that, the momentum the Kings built under Malone to start the season dissipated. The Kings have been in a funk ever since Malone was let go. Big man Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins has lost some of the composure he had at the beginning of the season. And it seems like the Kings management has sabotaged the team before they ever got started. Ty Corbin was charged with being the interim head coach the rest of the season when Malone was fired and the team has not responded very well to him. In fact, they look lost under his leadership. But there may be some help coming on the horizon. His name: George Karl.

It is rumored that Karl and the Kings are working on a four year deal that could pay him $4-$5 million annually. If he is hired, he may take over after the All-Star break. Some may not think he is worth it at all. But Karl just might be because he has been a coach that takes bad situations and turn them around. For example, he walked into Milwaukee and ended up taking them to the Conference Finals in the 2000-2001 season behind the talents of Ray Allen and point guard Sam Cassell. That was the best success the Bucks had experienced in a long time. Sacramento right now is a toxic situation. The team seemingly has lost the chemistry they had at the beginning of the season and it seems like all hope is lost. But in Karl, that hope that is flickering out can become a flame again. Karl has worked with worse rosters than this one and made them successful. So it isn’t out of the question that he could come in and make this roster work for him around the talents of Gay and Cousins. But his first challenge would be to get through to Cousins.

Cousins is a talented young big man who the Kings just gave a max contract last offseason. He is arguably the most talented big man in the NBA. But for as talented as he is, he can be very mercurial at times. Although he has been better this season about controlling his temper, he has still had some moments that make you scratch your head. With Karl being a proven winner and the best coach that Cousins has had, Cousins may be more apt to listen and do what Karl asks of him. But the first thing Karl has to do is make sure that he and Cousins is on the same page with what he expects. If these two are not on the same page, then this team will go nowhere fast. But if Cousins can focus and listen to Karl, there is no telling how good Karl can make him. Cousins would be the best big man that Karl has had since he had Shawn Kemp in Seattle back in the 1990’s. And Karl has been watching this season, the first thing he would need to tell Cousins is to get in better shape. During the season, there is nothing Karl can really do about Cousins getting in better shape. But in the offseason, he can definitely help put his imprint on Cousins. With better conditioning, Cousins can play more minutes and be more effective and less tired at times on the court. He could also give better effort with more condition.

The next challenge for Karl would be to repair the damage that has been done mentally there. If you watch Sacramento, they carry themselves like they are defeated a lot of the time. If a few things go wrong, they tend to go away from what the gameplan may be. With Karl, he must instill a winning mentality from his first day on the job. Along with that, he must also push winning habits on them as well. The more he pushes his imprint on this team, the better they will be and the culture will change. And when the culture of winning, there is no louder arena than Arco. Everyone remembers the days when Chris Webber and crew started winning in Sacramento. The environment there was lound, boisterous and intimidating to opponents. The crowd had a huge effect on opponents as they would suffocate teams at home. If Karl is able to bring that type of synergy to this team. The crowds will come back to the days of the past and that would be a beautiful thing for that franchise, which has been suffering for a few years now.

The biggest adjustment that may be made with Karl is the style of play. Right now, the Kings have no defined style they play. At times they can play uptempo and at other times they are better in the halfcourt. The good thing about Karl is he works with the talent he is given. With this team, he would need to selectively run. His best weapon, Demarcus Cousins, is a great guy to have in the halfcourt game, but he is not the most effective guy when it comes to running an uptempo offense. The best thing for the Kings to do would be to run when Cousins is out of the game and slow the tempo down when he is in there. That can be a tricky equation, but when your best player can make so many things happen offensively in the halfcourt game, you have to use him. If Karl is given this job, he will definitely work on all the ways he can use Cousins while growing the team around him.

Sacramento has been dormant since Vlade Divac, Mike Bibby and Chris Webber left the scene. But if the team can get some things going, they can actually bring those type of feelings back. And with Karl in charge, it could happen. The Kings need to finish this deal and make it happen. He could change their fortunes for the better. He may not have a championship to his name, but Karl knows how to build teams and make them better than they were.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

One Comment

  1. ASR

    February 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    George Karl is a Dean Smith disciple and teaching the game to these you players is critical. Games are won or lost in practice but managing it is for a esoteric trait, that very few have mastered. Karl is an old school coach that has to temper his approach in 2015.

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