Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:37 pm
By Matt Moore
With the predictable, yet sooner-than-expected firing of Paul Westphal today, the Kings seem to be in disarray. But looking at the roster and the talent available, plus the job being in California (be it Sacramento or Anaheim), you have to consider it to be one of the more attractive positions likely to open this year. Yes, the franchise is in disarray from an ownership and organizational perspective, but this is the NBA. Those things magically fade to the background if you start winning with a talented roster, and the Kings have a talented roster.
So who's on the radar for the Kings? We're going to give you a few options the Kings might explore and how those options play out with the different coaches, but first you need to understand the complexities of the situation.
The Kings are not, publicly or reportedly, under any financial strain, beyond the losses which were poured over in lockout talks. But the Maloofs were hit hard by the economic recession, which helped fuel their desire for the move to Anaheim last year that was thrwarted by the NBA. One of the primay reasons many believed Westphal would not be fired this season was due to the salary that must be paid to him in addition to a new coach. That the Kings felt it was imperative to move on is a good sign for Kings fans, indicating that they're willing to pay out the rest of the deal to get started on a new chapter. Still, the price tag on many of the options below may be too high. The situation in Sacramento goes beyond "get the best coach available."
Keith Smart: In November of 2008, P.J. Carlesimo was fired from the Thunder after a 1-12 start. A young
assistant and former player Scott Brooks took over. Voila. OK, so Keith Smart is 47, and this is his third stint as interim head coach. But if Smart somehow manages to get through to this team (including yes, DeMarcus Cousins), that would be the best possible situation for all. Smart wouldn't cost a fortune and has continuity. Drawbacks? Well, he was part of the horrible start and he's failed to stick at the two previous interim spots. Smart drew mixed reviews in Golden State before the Warriors hired Mark Jackson. He's got his work cut out for him.
Larry Brown: Yahoo Sports already brought up this possibility, via an executive. Brown might be great for DeMarcus Cousins with his brutal, intense ways. It also might detonate. Brown has experience (there's the understatement of the year) and brings a high-value name to the project. But Brown is also renown for crushing the souls and dreams of young guards. Let's see. Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette... yeah, this is like an execution line of hope under Brown. Brown's also 71, so he's not a long-term solution. He's also going to want more organizational control than GM Geoff Petrie is willing to surrender.
Don Nelson: Fast guards that don't play defense and a mercurial, angry forward? What could possibly go wrong here for Nelson? Nelson would likely want more control as well, and is no spring chicken either. But man would that team be fun to watch. This idea's already been floated by the Mercury News.
Mike D'Antoni: See, it's a jump-to-conclusions mat! This one's out there, but it makes so much sense from a strategy standpoint. Say D'Antoni gets scapegoated (already happening) in New York because his front office listened to a former GM that wrecked their franchise and gave up the farm for a high-usage small forward who stuggles with anything except shooting out of ISO sets and rebounding. D'Antoni lands in Sacramento. Warmer weather. An explosive big man who's a bit of an enigma. Multiple players with liquid position skills. And a shoot-first undersized guard. Come on now. You want to watch this. Even a little. This has about zero percent chance of happening, but the idea was so good I couldn't resist listing it.
Phil Jackson: Haha, just kidding.
Mario Elie: Another Kings coach. Elie is popular with the players though, and has a longer history with the team. This is pretty unlikely given the team passing him over once, but if Smart is sent out at season's end after Westphal, Elie might be promoted.
Brian Shaw: The man many felt should have gotten the job in Los Angeles might want the chance to go after his old team. Shaw is a players' coach, which might be just what the Kings need. If he were to want to put the triangle in place, though, run as fast as humanly possible.
Quin Snyder: Snyder worked under the Spurs system in Austin as the Spurs' D-League coach, then as an assistant in Philadelphia under Doug Collins and this season as an assistant for Mike Brown and the Lakers. He's a development coach who can get through to players and has had nothing but good marks since his departure from Missouri. Plus Kings fans could get wigs of the hair, which is fun.
Posted on: April 26, 2011 9:14 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 9:22 pm
The Houston Rockets will reportedly interview Kevin McHale and Sam Cassell for their head coaching position. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Last week, we noted that the Houston Rockets and former coach Rick Adelman mutually agreed to part ways, a sign that the team is ready to enter a rebuilding phase. It takes the right personality to lead a young team through a rebuilding process, as going from lottery team to playoff team can often be a process that spans multiple seasons in the NBA.
Based on the early reports, the Rockets and GM Daryl Morey have clearly decided to evaluate all of their options in finding the right person for that position.
Yahoo! Sports reports on Tuesday that TNT commentator, former Minnesota Timberwolves coach and executive, and Hall of Fame Boston Celtics forward Kevin McHale will be granted an interview.
Kevin McHale will interview for the Houston Rockets coaching job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Rockets and McHale are still working on setting a date for the meeting, presumably around McHale’s playoff broadcasting responsibilities, a source said.MyFoxHouston.com also reported on Tuesday that the Rockets would interview former Rockets point guard and current Washington Wizards coach Sam Cassell as well.
Add former Houston Rockets guard Sam Cassell to the list of candidates who will interview to become the Rockets next head coach.
League sources told FOX 26 Sports Cassell will meet with Rockets officials next week.Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle has reported that Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Kelvin Sampson, Rockets assistant coach Jack Sikma, former Rockets forward Mario Elie and former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson are among the names under consideration.
Given the circumstances, an NBA lifer with a track record of losing like McHale, whose career record is 39-55, would be a disaster. Retreads and rebuilding are just a bad combination; coaches in these situations should inspire a fanbase, not demoralize it.
Morey is statistically-inclined, so you can be sure whoever he decides upon will at least be open to advice from upstairs. Really, the Rockets are better off seeking a dynamic fresh face with the ability to develop the team's young players and whose act hasn't yet grown tired. Tom Thibodeau, Monty Williams, Erik Spoelstra and Frank Vogel are four coaches who fit that profile and have guided their respective teams to the playoffs this season.
There's a little bit of a youth movement going on in the NBA coaching ranks, and the Rockets would be wise to get on board that ship.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 1:43 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:25 pm
Sacramento Kings assistant coach Mario Elie was arrested Wednesday night on Driving Under the Influence charges. Posted by Ben Golliver.
You can't spell "Drinking" without K-I-N-G. Yes, I already regret that sentence, but it's true. Sacramento Kings assistant coach Mario Elie, he of the world champion Houston Rockets from the mid-1990s, was reportedly arrested on DUI charges Wednesday night, becoming the fourth member of the organization in the last 12 months to find himself in that situation. Take it away SacTownRoyalty.com.
Kings assistant coach Mario Elie became the latest member of the franchise to be arrested on DUI charges. KHTK 1140 AM broke the news that Elie was arrested at 2 a.m. in Sacramento, held overnight and released after bail was posted in the morning.
Elie joined the team as one of Paul Westphal's assistant coaches before the 2009-10. As the Kings have strugged, Elie was seen as the assistant most likely to take over the head coach's chair had the franchise decided to cut ties with Westphal. There is no chance that will happen now.The Kings' current predicament offers plenty of reasons to hit the bottle for coaches and fans alike -- 2-8 in their last 10 games, questions about Tyreke Evans' foot, even more questions about DeMarcus Cousins' attitude -- but there's never an excuse for getting behind the wheel after drowning your sorrows. Unfortunately for the Kings, this runs deeper than a single bad decision on Elie's behalf. In the past 12 months, two (now former) players -- Andres Nocioni and Antoine Wright -- were arrested on DUI charges, as was co-owner George Maloof. Throw in Evans' reckless driving and the Kings become, without question, more menacing on the highways and byways than they are on the hardwood. Surely, a large donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and a commitment to raise public awareness about designated drivers is in this franchise's future. Let's just hope the rest of the Kings employees are paying attention during the lip service.