Basketball

Sacramento Kings Head Coach Search

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The Sacramento Kings and general manager Monte McNair are on the search for their next head coach.

Former Kings head coach Luke Walton was relieved of his duties in November 2021. Walton began his tenure as Sacramento Kings head coach on March 15th, 2019 when he was hired by then-general manager Vlade Divac. During his time as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, Walton tallied a record of 68-93 (.433).

Sacramento then named assistant coach and longtime NBA head coach Alvin Gentry their interim head coach. That was amidst some ‘rumors’ that Sacramento Kings fan favorite and first-year assistant coach Doug Christie may be appointed to the interim head coaching role.

Gentry has been a head coach for 1158 NBA games, with a 529-629 record. As of 3/16/22, the Kings are 19-34 under interim head coach Gentry.

Just to re-iterate… the Sacramento Kings have not made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season.

In This Article

  • Head coaching questions
  • Head coaching candidates
  • Alvin Gentry
  • Fan and ‘Expert’ opinion

Head Coaching Questions

Is there a veteran head coach out there who is currently unemployed that would want to take over the Kings next season, with hopes of actually staying on for multiple seasons? Will there be a college coach who jumps ship for an NBA head coaching opportunity? Is there a hidden gem on the bench of a current NBA team that McNair has been eyeing? Is there a WNBA or international coaching candidate? Do the Kings go with a ‘local legend’? Will the current interim head coach and LONG time NBA head coach Alvin Gentry get hired as head coach?

Consulting the Experts

It’s exciting to get a re-tweet from a ‘big name’ in the Sacramento Kings realm, I’m not gonna lie! Carmichael Dave posed a question on his Twitter page, asking his followers what they would ask Kings GM Monte McNair.

I asked, “Build your perfect head coach, what does that look like?”

List of Potential Sacramento Kings Head Coaching Candidates

Some names I have seen in articles, heard in podcasts, and scrolled by on social media posts in NO particular order …

Sam Cassell, Kenny Atkinson, Mike Brown, Terry Stotts, Darvin Ham are the more realistic names I’ve heard out there. Then there are the ‘outliers’ that people like to talk about to stir up the conversation. Former Kings head coach Dave Joerger and even former Golden State Warriors head coach and current NBA TV analyst Mark Jackson have all been named by rabid Sacramento Kings fans when I posed the question on social media. Some have even mentioned Sacramento Kings ‘local legends’ and current members of the coaching staff, Doug Christie, and Bobby Jackson.

One name that was swirling around for a while, that is now off the table, was Becky Hammon, who was hired as the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA. Hammon, the second female coach in the NBA history, was previously an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs and is now the HIGHEST PAID head coach in WNBA history, earning up to $1 million per year.

Is Gentry a REALISTIC Candidate?

It seems like Alvin Gentry is a great human, very respected in the NBA world, a high-level assistant coach, and a capable head coach. Though, going forward for the Sacramento Kings, I would hope Gentry is not their head coach. Gentry seems like a great fit for an assistant coach on the Kings but not the best fit for the head coach of the Sacramento Kings. How the Kings fare in their playoff/play-in tournament push could heavily determine the value of the Gentry as Kings head coach. And that play-in push is not looking good.

Who will be the head coach of the Kings when they select in the top 7 of the 2022 NBA Draft?

Fan Input

What is pro sports without sports fans … nothing really! Even though the fans do not really have much of a say in who gets hired, I think it is IMPORTANT for the fan voices to be heard! Gotta keep those ears and eyes to the streets!

https://twitter.com/heynurse_Arlene/status/1491518587651067908

Past Problems Loom Large in the Memories of Kings Fans

I have heard many Kings fans state that they really don’t ‘care’ who is the next head coach of the franchise. They are more concerned that GM Monte McNair has FULL authority to hire who HE wants to, with a lack of perceived ‘meddling’ from owner Vivek Ranadive.

To me, there are multiple ways to view this, realistically.

Depends on who ya ask … but as a Kings fan, in the past, it seems that Ranadive has ‘meddled’ a bit too much, instead of fully trusting the ‘experts’ in the front office. That can be frustrating for a Kings fanbase who hasn’t seen a playoff game since 2006.

I also empathize with Ranadive. If I owned a coffee shop or an NBA franchise, I want to have a say in what happens! There must be a balance (maybe even a Power Balance) found.

As always, Go Sacramento Kings!

-Tom Witt

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Tom Witt has been in sports media for just under a decade. He started off freelancing, earning a role as an editor and Sacramento Kings writer at Overtime Heroics.

He also is an avid Spikeball fan/competitor (roundnet is the name of the sport played on Spikeball equipment) - Tom is also the head editor at the Roundnet World blog.