On the heels of the Sacramento Kings firing head coach Luke Walton, the general assumption amongst NBA Twitter and Kings fans is for assistant coach Alvin Gentry to take over in the interim. But according to Adrian Wojnarowsi of ESPN, first-year assistant coach Doug Christie has emerged as a candidate for Walton’s position.
Another possible interim coaching candidate: First-year assistant coach Doug Christie. Kings are still discussing the options. https://t.co/zBHtvlmzqg— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2021
Christie has been a member of the Kings’ coaching staff since July, which would catapult him into a role he hasn’t necessarily been set up for but might have been anticipating.
Per Jason Jones of The Athletic, sources close to the team felt that Christie’s addition during the California Classic and Summer League tournament was due to the possibility of Walton’s departure and Gentry’s decline to the interim position.
Throwing Christie into the fire just seventeen games into his coaching career seems incredibly premature, but I understand that he has been a integral piece of the staff for players such as Marvin Bagley, Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell.
In my mind’s eye, I see Gentry has the most qualified coach that the Kings currently possess to take over in the interim as Monte McNair takes his time making a concerted effort find a fit that this team desperately needs. However, there must have been whisperings around the organization that Gentry might not have had those feelings reciprocated, which brings Rico Hines, Lindsay Harding and Doug Christie to the surface as first ballot candidates for the time being.
Whatever decision is made in the next few days, we need to form a sense of stability and save the season before it becomes another lost year in the decades-long search for the ‘right coach’.