Blog Entry

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

Posted on: January 5, 2012 2:35 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 2:49 pm
Posted by Royce Young

It seemed it was only a matter of time.

The Sacramento Kings announced the firing of head coach Paul Westphal Thursday, according to a release from the team.

“I want to thank Paul for all of his effort on behalf of the Kings,” said general manager Geoff Petrie. “Unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Assistant Keith Smart, who was the head coach of the Warriors last season, will take over interim duties for the Kings.

While the Kings have come out of the gates slowly while also looking disorganized at times, it's hard not to think that this had more to do with DeMarcus Cousins than anything else. The Kings picked Cousins. It's really as simple as that.

Westphal seemed to be at constant odds with the talented big man from Kentucky, suspending him last season for a locker room scuffle with a teammate, benching him for mocking an opponent and then suspending him again this season for reportedly yelling "Trade me!" following a game. Westphal even had the team's PR staff send out a release on his behalf announcing that Cousins demanded a trade.

Westphal though seems to be handling the firing with class.

“I would like to thank the Maloof family for the incredible opportunity they gave me to participate in the attempt to bring the Sacramento Kings back to prominence," Westphal said in the release. “While the job is far from finished, I am proud of the strides we were able to make. Geoff Petrie and his staff have been nothing but honest and supportive throughout my time here. They are first class in every way and I wish them nothing but success. My hope is to see the fans of the Kings and the city of Sacramento rewarded with many years of great basketball."
Teams fire coaches in these situations out of fear for their young talent. If it's perceived that young players are seeing their growth stunted by a stubborn head coach or just a guy that's not connecting with them, he's out. The Thunder did that very early on after a little more than a season with P.J. Carlesimo. You don't mess around when you're trying to develop young players.

Consider a young player like Jimmer Fredette who has walked into this situation and is trying to learn how to play NBA basketball with all this dysfunction around him. It can't be easy.

But it's hard to shake the Cousins situations. There's no question that Cousins is an immature, strong-headed player. Following a game this season where he was asked about the team's offense he snapped sarcastically, "What offense?" So you can understand Westphal's frustration, especially since he's a veteran coach that has been around the league for a long time. It just wasn't a fit. The team probably wasn't responding to him in practice, they looked disjointed and unorganized on the court and it was time for a change. I bet Westphal is actually relieved. 

Last season in December, there was a report out that Westphal had "all but lost his team" but managed to survive the season. Ben Golliver of wrote this though last night after the Kings got pasted by the Nuggets: "Other than that, the Kings did a great impression of a team that has quit on its coach. How else to explain 2-for-20 shooting from deep, 32.6 percent shooting overall, plus 12 assists and 17 turnovers as a team? The Kings either quit on Westphal or they're playing like they're afraid he's going to write another press release about him." A few hours later, he's gone. 

Plus, you can't ignore the Kings situation in Sacramento. They are looking to get a new building financed or they could be moving to Anaheim. A lame duck coach with a team that hates itself isn't exactly the way to drum up public support.

Westphal was the coach of the team for two-plus seasons and had a record of just 51-120. He was in the final year of his contract with Sacramento this season.

Since: Dec 21, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:59 pm

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

It was. I'm from Indiana!

Since: Feb 28, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:20 pm

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

Any franchise that would side with Demonkus Cousins is doomed to fail. Good luck with that punk Nutsacktown.Laughing

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:14 pm

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

Typical owners siding with their "star" players and not backing their coach.  D. Cousins is obviously an immature, selfish player (what else do you expect coming out of the KY program after one season), who cares more about himself than his coach or his team.  Hey Sacramento mgmt. here's a novel idea... why not address the real problem rather than using the head coach as a scapegoat?  Guess it's just too easy to fire the coach than deal with an over-paid, over-hyped and over-rated problem player.  Good luck with Cousins Sacramento!

Since: Dec 14, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 8:37 pm

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

This smells like spam.Yell

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Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: January 5, 2012 7:07 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 6:55 pm

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

Although nobody wants to loose their job I'll be willing to bet Westphal is very relieved he's gone from that franchise.  Who would want to be a coach in an orgainization that sides with immature players who don't want to do the work it takes to become professionals?  Westphal lost the team last season, not the last few games.  Tyreke does whatever he wants, when he wants, and for how long he wants.  Cousins is an immature brat that is a cancer in the locker room and on the floor (from what the beat writers have reported).  And, Petrie and the Maloofs are trying to build a "winning franchise" with talent but not a franchise culture.  Talent alone doesn't win NBA championships, talent and culture does.  Players have to know the are accountable for not bringing their A game every night.  They have to attend meetings, have to read scouting reports, have to be professionals in a league of professionals.  And, coaches must know they have the full support of the GM and ownership to do whatever it takes to create a championship culture.  Petrie says the team is playing at the level they should be playing!!!?  Are you kidding me?  Name one All-Star in that roster.  They beat my beloved Lakers in their opening night and Arco/Power Balance Arena was electric.  But that's what young teams do; they play with emotions.  After the emotion of the seaons wears off then it's time for grit, professionalism and attitude.  The Kings don't have any of that on their roster from top to bottom.  It's not Westphal's fault they have been competitive.  This roster is built on perimeter play and your go-to-guy making the right reads and right decisions (Tyreke) along with hustle.  They've done none of that, period. 

I'd would've loved to see Westphal do what happened to me in a high school game........when me and the rest of the starters didn't play well, didn't play with passion and energy, and was going through the motions our coaches benched the entire starting lineup for the next 2 home games.  Talk about a wake up call.  But, coaches can't do that in the NBA because they have to major in Ego Management 101.

Since: Aug 23, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 6:49 pm

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

u may not like my opinion but thats YOUR problem. Yes cousins is immature and alot of other things that come with being young and rich. But not knowing him or the coach, l believe coaches think yelling and demanding his players to do something is not motivation for ALL players. I think the time of these old methods is all but gone.  words for thought would u want 1 coach or 5 players. I realize that each is important but u get the point. the best coach in the world (America) cannot fill the arena or stat sheet. Cousins hopefully will correct his ways and become a star, but that is all up to him. I hope the owner will sit him down and let him know that his ways are not benefiting him or the team as a whole. I hope he doesnt see this as  ah ha I got that ass hole coach fired and further stroke his warped EGO. But like all things TIME will tell. and what do u think will happen when u pay a 19yr old millions of $. Some kids will be able to cope and some will need time and still some will never humble themselves. <<<B 4 REAL>>>

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 6:43 pm

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

As much as I totally agree with you, the reality is that the NBA is popular than ever. Of course, the reason for this is the movement of top players to a few select teams. The NBA is like baseball, going the anti-parity route. You would think more leagues would copy the NFL's format of revenue sharing so that a team in little Green Bay, Wisconsin can compete with teams in New York andCchicago, but the NBA, in particular, wants to go the other way. They think playing to the largest urban and cool party areas is the way to go. i'm amazed they haven't expressed interest in getting the Kings to Las Vegas. It's a natural move for them.

Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 6:42 pm

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

"So how can a guy famous for hitting one jump shot at the right time 20 some years now be an NBA coach?"

I sincerely hope this question was a joke.

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 6:39 pm

Kings announce firing of Paul Westphal

Demarcus Cousins, immature, selfish and a coach killer. Who's next to think he can help their team out?

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