In the following days, the Sacramento Kings’ discourse will shift from how the season went wrong — and who was steering the helm — to the unsuprising news that interim head coach Alvin Gentry will be replaced with a new leader in the driver’s seat.
According to NBA Insider Marc Stein, the Kings are looking to make a splash in the head coach department this offseason in a market where there many competent, winning coaches available and in discussion as “desirables” for Sacramento:
Amid a growing expectation that the Kings will not make interim coach Alvin Gentry their full-time coach, after Sacramento missed the playoffs for the 16th successive season, various veterans have been increasingly mentioned as likely contenders for the post. Coaching free agents Terry Stotts and Mike D’Antoni, alongside Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown and Nets coaching consultant Steve Clifford, are all frequently cited in league coaching circles as potential targets for Sacramento. The Kings are said to be seeking a proven coach who can bring an immediate halt to the longest playoff drought in league history.
Stotts most recently served as the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, steering them for nine seasons before being relieved of his duties last spring. It felt inevitable that in the failed efforts to get Damian Lillard the help he needed, Stotts would be the first man out when progress had flatlined. Still, he provides a winning resume, coaching one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. One asset Stotts lacks is what the Kings desperately need, however, which is defense.
The notion of D’Antoni taking over this Kings team is interesting. Having spent the longest tenure in the NBA of three candidates Sacramento are reportedly pursuing, one standout question would be the longevity he could bring to this organization. Similarly to Gentry, who has said himself he’s ‘getting too old for this shit’, D’Antoni biting off the losing time with the playoff drought old enough to get its driver’s license feels like a big ask in the twilight of his coaching career.
Warriors’ assistant coach Mike Brown has all of the makings of a Sacramento Kings coach: good with the team he’s assisting with, filled the shoes of Steve Kerr when needed and a proven talent at the national level with Team Nigeria. His connection to Chimezie Metu is intriguing, but when it comes down to it Monte McNair should be leaning on the opinions of De’Aaron Fox: the decided face of this franchise and Domantas Sabonis: the man he is trying to win over before free agency.