clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kings Links: Michael Malone's firing leaves many scratching their heads

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

It didn't take long for everyone of note to comment on Sacramento's stunning firing of Michael Malone.  No matter what you think of the decision, it seems clear that very few people saw this coming, especially after Sacramento's hot start.

On this day in history: December 16th, 1773: Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawk Indians dump hundreds of crates of tea into Boston Harbor as a protest against the Tea Act. The doomed partnership of the Sacramento Kings and coach Michael Malone
Adrian Wojnarowski takes a look at some of the behind the scenes issues that led to Malone's firing, including his refusal to play Royce White meaningful minutes or to get on board with a trade for Josh Smith (which eventually fell through of its own accord).  Woj also has some harsh words for Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé, who he likens to a "fantasy league owner, treating the Kings like a science experiment."

USA Today: Kings put ideology first in firing coach Michael Malone
Sam Amick further clarifies the messy firing with some insights gleaned from talking to Pete D'Alessandro himself.  It appears Malone was on a much different page than both ownership and the front office and that it had been getting more and more contentious as time went on.  Amick also notes that while Karl has been rumored as a Kings coaching target, there hasn't yet been any movement on that front by the Kings.

Grantland: Now Coachless, the Kings Never Fail to Disappoint
Zach Lowe was not a fan of this move by the Kings and is especially pessimistic about the Kings' chances of playing the type of uptempo basketball that management wants with their current personnel.

SportsIllustrated: Michael Malone takes fall for Kings' unreasonable expectations
Rob Mahoney thought Michael Malone was doing a good job in Sacramento, but apparently it wasn't good enough for a front office and ownership that has playoff aspirations.

Sacramento Bee: Sacramento Kings-Michael Malone union never had a chance
Ailene Voisin writes that the Kings-Malone pairing was doomed the moment Vivek Ranadivé hired him before hiring a general manager.  That was unusual at the time and it proved to be a big mistake as the two sides never saw eye to eye. Slow tempo, relative success lead to Malone's demise
Scott Howard-Cooper notes that Malone was a victim of his early season success and that he is not without blame for Sacramento's struggles without DeMarcus Cousins.

ESPN Insider: Kings fire coach despite gains
This is an insider article but it's a great breakdown of the Kings by the numbers by Kevin Pelton.  Pelton points out that even with Cousins' absence the last 9 games, the Kings are still outperforming expectations.  He also makes the comparison to the Wolves firing Dwane Casey after a 20-20 start back in 2007.  Casey was replaced by Randy Wittman and then Kurt Rambis.  Casey now coaches the Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors and the Wolves have gone through 4 coaches since without getting near the playoffs.

Ball Don't Lie: The Sacramento Kings may have just done a really, really dumb thing
Kelly Dwyer is just as stunned as the rest of us and rightfully puts the onus on the Sacramento Kings front office to prove us wrong.  They've made plenty of controversial decisions already and so far most of them have panned out.  Only time will tell if this one does.

Cowbell Kingdom: Podcast Ep. 176 Michael Malone fired

James Ham and Aaron Bruski have a roundtable discussion about Malone's firing and even Jon Santiago came out of retirement to join in.

And finally, thanks to News10 we have full video of the post-practice session where Pete D'Alessandro, DeMarcus Cousins and Tyrone Corbin discussed the firing: