According to Sandy Clough of Denver’s 104.3 The Fan, in an appearance on the Colorado Sports Guys Podcast, the Sacramento Kings have made multiple attempts to get George Karl to resign at various points throughout the season.
Here is the direct quote, as transcribed by Aaron Bruski of Hoop Ball –
"Once this year here in Denver when they were in town a few weeks ago was enough, although (the conversation) didn’t center on Boogie Cousins, it centered on Sacramento’s obvious attempt – attempts, plural — to get George to resign so they don’t have to pay him the $10 million they owe him on the remainder of his contract … which everybody knows including George, more than anybody else, that’s exactly what’s going on. And actually his relationship with Cousins, at least at that point, was probably better than his relationship with any other element or person within the organization."
You could probably file this information under ‘no duh’. The worst kept secret in Sacramento is that George Karl will be fired at the end of the season, and having your future Hall of Fame head coach resign makes mores sense from a PR standpoint than the way the Kings have dragged this storyline on throughout the season. Expecting Karl to do the Kings a favor here might be the least-self aware thing the Kings have done in a season riddled with un-self-aware actions (looking at you, Drake in the locker room).
And that is before we get into the Kings expecting Karl to surrender some, or all of the $10+ million remaining on his contract. Yeah, he isn’t resigning, nor should he.
I can’t speak to the validity of Clough’s comments, but he certainly has that Denver connection with Karl, and all of this makes sense from what we’ve been hearing around the Kings.
I actually don’t mind the Kings feeling Karl out in terms of a resignation, but the response to his expected ‘nope’ can’t be ‘Ok, keep doing your thing then’. If you go down that road, there is no turning back. This isn’t a ‘should they, shouldn’t they’ discussion in terms of firing Karl, this is a ‘if you want him to resign, you clearly don’t think he’s the best man for this position’ discussion. The end result can’t be ‘do nothing’.
We can argue (and have, and will continue to) over the percentage of blame everyone involved in Sacramento’s messy 2015-16 season deserves, but this issue of indecision, and money, and ownership meddling, and not trusting basketball ops, etc. is a far bigger, longer-term issue for me than the blame pie.
The ownership group (seemingly) didn’t empower Vlade Divac, and in turn, Vlade Divac didn’t empower George Karl, and in turn, Karl was never able to establish himself as an authority figure in the locker room, and this is what we’re left with.