The Kings worked hard to build their coaching bench in support of Luke Walton last offseason, bringing in respected assistants Alvin Gentry and Rex Kalamian to helm the offense and defense, respectively.
After a season in which Sacramento finished with the worst defensive rating in the league, Kalamian is on his way out. He is headed to Detroit to join the Pistons staff, per reporting from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Given that the contracts of assistants aren’t made public, it’s like that Kalamian’s deal was simply up, and he’s moving on to a new opportunity.
Detroit is finalizing deals to hire three new assistants to Dwane Casey’s staff: Boston’s Jerome Allen, ex-Indiana assistant Bill Bayno and Sacramento’s Rex Kalamian, sources tell ESPN. Kalamian, Bayno worked for Casey in Toronto. Allen interviewed for Celtics HC job last week.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2021
Kalamian and Walton didn’t have a prior relationship before the Kings hired him, but Walton said that Ty Lue spoke highly of Kalamian’s energy during their time together with the Clippers. Jesse Mermuys also vouched for Kalamian after the two spent a few seasons on the Toronto bench.
Unfortunately, things didn’t seem to work out for Kalamian in Sacramento. The defense never took the step the team needed to really contend for a postseason berth. The Kings admittedly favored offensive-minded personnel, resulting in the 12th-best offense in the league per NBA.com, but even with lesser defensive talent, it was disappointing to see the consistent defensive mistakes throughout the season.
Now Kalamian will be reuniting with Dwane Casey, who he coached with for three seasons with the Raptors, and with Cory Joseph, who spent the first part of the year in Sacramento. The Kings will also have to find a new defensive assistant to fill out their staff, and Monte McNair and company will hopefully aid that coach’s job by adding some defensively-talented players on the 2021-22 roster.