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Kings' History With Indecision Could Hurt Them During Coaching Search

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Vlade Divac-led Sacramento Kings are actively searching for their next head coach after the absolute disaster that was the George Karl era. Obligatory note that Karl was not the only reason why his tenure was a failure.

The supposed candidate list is already 10-15 names deep. I’m going to mention several now off the top of my head as if to prove that the list is so long that I can remember a bunch of them without nailing all of them. Tom Thibodeau, Scotty Brooks, Mark Jackson, Kevin McHale, Nate McMillan, Patrick Ewing, Vinny Del Negro, Jay Larranaga, Jeff Hornacek, Ettore Messina, David Blatt, etc. It’s nutty, and while part of it is agents, and reporters doing their clients, and sources a solid by getting those names ‘in the hunt’ for any NBA job, and the Kings are such an easy target to make even the most unappealing candidate look like a realistic coaching option, so it is what it is.

I’m not upset that the ‘list’ is that long, I’m not upset at anything yet, really, but I am a little concerned at how, why, or when the Kings will reach their decision.

This isn’t a ‘look what the Kings are doing wrong!’ thought, it’s a ‘I hope the Kings don’t do this wrong’ thought.

The Brooklyn Nets hired Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson a couple of days ago. I won’t pretend like I know Atkinson is going to be a great head coach, but I know he was a realistic option for the Kings that is no longer on the board. The early bird gets the worm, or something.

It was a quick, confident decision by Nets general manager Sean Marks. He knew Atkinson was his guy, and he locked him up.

The Kings have a history with indecision, and part of that has to do with reported meddling from minority ownership. It’s easy to suffer from crippling indecision when you have as many voices in the room as the Kings do. A brief history lesson –

The Kings took forever to hire George Karl and end the Ty Corbin circus. The Kings took forever, and eventually reversed course on the decision to fire Karl at the All-Star break. The Kings are taking forever, and still haven’t, filled that front office position Bobby Marks interviewed for during summer league last year, and again towards the end of this season before finally turning it down. We keep hearing David Morway’s name pop up, and I cannot imagine why that is taking so long if he’s the right guy for that position. The longer it takes the Kings to sign him, the less and less confident I feel that he is a good fit in Sacramento. Seriously, it’s taken the Kings almost a full year to get Vlade Divac front office help. Oh, and then there is that ‘defensive assistant coach’ Karl was supposed to bring in when the Kings fired Vance Walberg. It never happened.

Sean Marks had a ‘leg up’ on the competition in the sense that he was hired during the season, everyone kind of knew he would be hiring his own head coach, so he had months to prepare for Atkinson’s hiring.

But you can sort of say the same thing for Vlade Divac and the Sacramento Kings. It wasn’t as out in the open as Marks’ search, but we've known that Karl was gone after this season for a few months now, the search could probably be a littler further along than it seems to be.

I understand how this can come across as criticizing someone for something that hasn’t happened yet, but history has me concerned of two things:

  1. Vlade Divac can’t find what he’s looking for.
  2. Ownership won’t agree and/or pay for whomever Divac selects.

In a perfect world, Divac finds his guy, and that guy actually wants to coach the Kings, and isn’t viewing this job as his last resort, and ownership stays out of the way.

In a perfect world.