Sacramento Kings fans were left scratching their heads after Michael Malone was abruptly let go in December and Tyrone Corbin was given the task of getting the team back to where it was at the beginning of the season. After the team began to spiral into another season chock-full of losses, fans increasingly wanted answers and the front office to admit a mistake had been made.
As George Karl became acquainted with Sacramento on Tuesday, his bosses admitted they had made some errors in how the coaching position and process has been handled leading up until this point.
During Karl's introductory press conference, D'Alessandro was asked why he waited so long to hire his new coach if he was available months ago. His response came with an admission that he was wrong for putting interim head coach Tyrone Corbin in the position he did.
"I wanted to give Ty [Corbin] a chance to coach this team. I do think I put him in an impossible situation and maybe I didn't recognize that at the time. And so as you go through it and you start seeing kind of the effect of everything, it wasn't fair to Ty it really wasn't fair to him. I don't know who could have done the job in that situation. And you get to a point where you say, ‘I know who I want to coach this team, I know who I want to coach, and he's available.' And sometimes you have to just acknowledge what you've done was wrong," D'Alessandro said. "Growing pains hurt, but they lead to growth."
D'Alessandro also said everything the players went through was "on me."
Later in the day, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive spoke to KHTK 1140 and CBS Sacramento about how his decision to bring in Malone before he hired D'Alessandro.
This from Steve Large of CBS Sacramento.
"I made a mistake when I bought the team. I hired the coach before I hired the GM. Circumstances were different, we had a few weeks before the draft, and so on. So that's what we did. This time around I said, look, I'm not going to interfere, I'm going to let the GM decide whether it's Ty or it's George or whoever it is. I make new mistakes; I won't make the same mistake again."
A coach with the sixth most wins in NBA history is now in Sacramento and the players, fans and even the front office and owner are set up with a new future in front of them in the second half of the season. It is a chance to move on from the last couple of months that Karl himself referred to as "basketball hell."
The way the Malone firing was handled will probably always be a head scratcher for many years to come, but it will only be a small blip on the radar if this Plan B ends up turning the franchise around.