Do The Sacramento Kings Fire Coaches Too Quickly?

Commentary by Tyler Mills

The Sacramento Kings may fire their coaches too quickly.  The question of whether Paul Westphal should have been fired following a dispute with talented forward DeMarcus Cousins.  DeMarcus Cousins is a young guy that people potentially thought could be a headache for many coaches.  Paul Westphal had been an NBA head coach before and he thought he could handle DeMarcus Cousins and Cousins’ outspoken personality.

Paul Westphal probably knew he was in for a huge task when he took the job with the Sacramento Kings.  The Kings are owned by Gavin and Joe Maloof.  The Maloof brothers have made a number of quick decisions when it comes to the firing of a head coach in recent years.  Rick Adelman was the head coach of the Sacramento Kings when the Maloof brothers bought the team.

Adelman was the head coach for nine seasons under Maloof ownership and the average NBA fan has to wonder whether the Maloof brothers that Adelman got too complacent while he was working there.   The Chris Webber, Mike Bibby and Vlade Divac days may have made the Maloof brothers ask for way too much out from future head coaches.

The Maloof brothers have had five different head coaches since Rick Adelman left the team in 2006.  The five different head coaches have been in Sacramento on either an interim or permanent basis.   Paul Westphal actually had the longest tenure of anyone since the Adelman era.

The team has gone several different routes when hiring a head coach.  Reggie Theus was hired as head coach of the Sacramento Kings after two seasons as the head coach of the New Mexico State Aggies  Theus was fired after just a few into his second season as head coach, Paul Westphal on the other had was fired just a few games into his third season.

Westphal was a well respected assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks under Avery Johnson before he ended up taking over the head gig with the Kings.  Charles Barkley who played under Westphal during Westphal’s tenure with the Phoenix Suns has always said nice things about how wonderful Paul Westphal is as a coach and a person.

Eric Musselman was another person who was hired as head coach of the Kings in the post-Adelman era.  Musselman had spent time in the world of professional before; once as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA and also as a head coach in the Continental Basketball Association.  Musselman had some issues both on and off the court, mostly with anger.  A coach can be a perfectionist from time to time and this doesn’t really work well in this era in the NBA.

A conspiracy theorist may say that the Maloof brothers are not letting a coach develop their young roster because they want the team to move out of Sacramento and to a city where they get a nicer set of facilities.   I would certainly hope that no business person would try to pour millions of dollars into an entity just to watch it fail.

There have been several recent interviews where the Maloof brothers have been complimentary of Rick Adelman’s coaching style, so you have to wonder whether Gavin and Joe Maloof would decide to let Rick Adelman get away again.


Author Bio: Tyler Mills is a former college student looking for a positive way to inform people and make some money to pay living expenses. He also covers sports and Iowa news for the De Moines Free Press.

Education:  Associate of Arts Degree from SCC, marketing certificate from the University of San Francisco

Interests:  Sports, politics, history, movies, real estate, novels, business.