Playoff-starved Kings to fire George Karl after season finale

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 10:58 PM

The Sacramento Bee first reported that Karl will be fired one day after the Kings' season finale against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

Playoff-starved Kings to fire George Karl after season finale

The Sacramento Kings are planning to fire coach George Karl on Thursday, sources confirmed to ESPN'south Marc Stein.

The Sacramento Bee first reported that Karl will be fired one day after the Kings' season finale against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

"This year has been crazy, but it'south always been rewarding," Karl, who'd not get questions regarding his future, told reporters in Houston. "That'south what coaching is. You never know what hand you're going to be dealt, even in excellent times when you're winning more than what you did latest year. You still have nightmares. You still have headaches. You still have ego problems. You still have attitude problems.

"The whole thing about it's solving them and emotional on, and this team has never given up and has fought in a beautiful impressive way through a lot of turmoil."

ESPN'south Marc Stein reported in early Feb that the Kings decided against firing Karl after the coach and common manager Vlade Divac had a sit-down meeting in which Karl pledged to create some changes to address growing concerns within the organization about his defensive schemes and practice policies.

Karl also nearly lost his work in Nov after a public dispute with middle DeMarcus Cousins.

NBA coaching sources tell Stein that Kevin McHale, Label Jackson and Vinny Del Negro are among the names Sacramento is considering for its coaching job. The Kings, sources told Stein, also have powerful interest in Tom Thibodeau and Scotty Brooks but concede contest for those two will be fierce.

Heading into the finale, the Kings are thirty-three-48 and will miss the playoffs for a tenth consecutive season despite expectations from owner Vivek Ranadive to finish that drought. The team will be emotional into a new arena next season.

The Kings rank in the NBA'south top ten in shooting percentage and 3-point field goal percentage, but they rank in the bottom ten defensive in those same categories.

"In the same sense, it'south emotional in a excellent direction right now," Karl said. "It'south the most wins [33] they've had in eight years. It'south an offensive team that'south very near to being a very excellent offensive basketball team. It'south a defensive team that'south better than people think it is. It does necessity some adjustments but can be adjusted very easily and I think very quickly in the summer.

"I think we've had a good year."

The Kings' following coach will be their ninth since 2006-07, the most in the league in that span.

The 64-year-old Karl, who'll get the remaining $6.5 million guaranteed from his four-year contract with the Kings, was hired during the two thousand fifteen All-Star crack to replace then-interim coach Tyrone Corbin. That move came before Divac was installed as the Kings' lead decision-maker.

The Kings are Karl'south sixth NBA coaching work after previous stints in Cleveland, Golden State, Seattle, Milwaukee and Denver. The two thousand thirteen NBA Coach of the Year ranks fifth on the NBA'south all-time coaching wins list -- trailing only Don Nelson (1.335), Lenny Wilkens (1.332), Jerry Sloan (1.221) and Pat Riley (1.210) -- with a career record of 1.175-823 entering Wednesday'south game. He also has a career playoff record of 80-105.

ESPN Staff Writer Calvin Watkins contributed to this report.

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