The Sacramento Kings are engaged in a serious push to hire George Karl, fulfilling the wishes of many Kings fans. The natural question then becomes what took so long. The great Sam Amick's latest report exposes some of the issues that have delayed the hiring of Karl up to this point. Let's take a look at the things we now know.
1. Pete wants Karl
[G]eneral manager Pete D'Alessandro - who spent his recent years working with Karl while in the Denver Nuggets' front office - is known to be advocating for his hiring. D'Alessandro, who traveled to Denver in recent days to discuss the job with Karl, is clearly determined to get this deal done
It's often been speculated who is fighting against the hiring of Karl. From Amick we now know for sure that Pete has been trying to get Karl, and is making a major push.
2. DeMarcus Cousins' agents are involved
Cousins' day-to-day agent, Jarrin Akana, worked with Karl in Denver and was re-assigned from assistant coach to scout when Karl took over for coach Jeff Bzdelik in 2005. Dan Fegan, Cousins' lead agent, represented Karl's son, Coby, as a player for years before he was eventually replaced. That circle, by all accounts, has been against the notion of adding Karl.
This was probably the most surprising news. Many assumed it was Karl's history with Chris Mullin that was at issue. It turns out it's just a good old fashioned petty grudge. Agents are great.
One thing to note, this makes no direct mention of Cousins being part of the issue.
3. The Kings still have one eye on the summer
This is truly baffling. Tom Thibodeau is a great coach, but plays almost the same style as Michael Malone, and has his own history of butting heads with management. And as for Scott Brooks, he doesn't exactly fit the mold of a "ball movement, innovative offense" guy.
4. Money might be a real factor
Karl's cost is certainly a factor, as the combination of his accomplishments and the recent spike in coaches salaries (the New York Knicks' Derek Fisher and the Golden State Warriors' Steve Kerr signed five-year, $25 million deals as first-year coaches this season) mean he won't come cheap.
This is, to put it simply, unacceptable. It makes sense not to want to pay three head coaches at the same time. But you avoid that by not firing Michael Malone, or by not removing Tyrone Corbin's interim tag in December. The Kings made two mistakes that are going to cost them money. But you don't compound two mistakes with a third one just because the first two cost you.
The Kings are in a very bad place. Attendance has been getting worse. The current situation is presumably impacted season ticket sales and renewals, even with the new arena as a selling point. The Kings are quickly turning the fan base off of spending money at Kings games. This early in their ownership tenure, Vivek and Co can't afford not to fix this situation.
And you can't get cheap when it comes to Karl's contract. Yes, Karl might be expensive. But an expensive coach may cost somewhere around $4-$6 million per year. That's less than the Kings are paying Derrick Williams this year. Considering the impact a coach can have on your franchise, it's a worthwhile cost.
5. The Kings are dealing with the issue
This is the best news in a long time. For the first time since the Malone firing, it seems like the Kings are finally taking steps to fix the team. Better late than never.