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Luke Walton’s Job Security and the Sacramento Kings ‘Gap Year’ with James Ham and Jerry Reynolds

NBC Sports' James Ham joins The Kings Herald Show this week to break down all the latest Kings news, and boy did the home team give us a lot to talk about this week.

NBC Sports' James Ham joins Jerry Reynolds, Will Griffith, and Tony Xypteras on The Kings Herald Show this week to deep-dive the Luke Walton situation, and break down how the Kings have performed both on and off the court through the first half of the 2020-21 NBA season.

Special thanks to James for taking a couple of hours out of his Saturday to jump on the podcast and share some of his insight with us. It was a good time, and showcased a few different perspectives on the current state of the Kings.

  • (2:25) The Luke Walton job security conversation
  • (15:15) Will Luke Walton be the head coach of the Sacramento Kings next season?
  • (24:30) Who is on the trade block as the March 25 trade deadline approaches?
  • (34:25) How much power does Joe Dumars have in the Kings organization?
  • (39:06) Are you optimistic about the future of the Sacramento Kings under Monte McNair’s leadership?
  • (44:05) Should Monte McNair be more available to the media for questioning?
  • (59:45) What lessons should the Kings learn from the last 14 years of unparalleled coaching turnover?
  • (1:09:13) Why are so many fans ready to move on from Luke Walton?
  • (1:19:05) Patreon Question of the Week

You can find The Kings Herald Show wherever you listen to podcasts, but if we're missing a platform of your choosing, leave us a note in the comments and we'll get to work. If you can subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on any and all platforms, that would be greatly appreciated, too. It's the easiest way you can support the show!


In addition to our bi-weekly podcast with Jerry Reynolds, we also record a Patreon exclusive Q+A once a month where Patrons at any level can Ask Jerry Anything. The 3rd Patreon Q+A with Jerry was posted here.

You can submit questions to us on Patreon, or post your questions for Jerry in the comments right below this post! We'll be recording another Q+A soon, so get those questions in now.

And finally, you can sign up for our Patreon here.

Thanks for listening.

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Nostradumbass 18
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March 7, 2021 1:12 pm

Keep those podcast episodes coming!
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March 7, 2021 1:32 pm
Reply to  Klam

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March 7, 2021 3:27 pm
Reply to  Kosta

“It’s the Kings Herald Show with Will!”
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March 7, 2021 5:43 pm
Reply to  Klam

Well, now I want “The Kings Herald Show” in the same font.

March 7, 2021 3:30 pm

The James Ham podcast ! With Will , Tony and Jerry ! Not my cup of tea !

March 7, 2021 7:47 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Thanks for putting this out. James’ relationships have certainly clouded his vision. I get that’s apart of following a team but almost had to skip those parts. I thought his take on Vivek/organizational structure was the only realitisic/ really objective point.

Jerry always tells it like it is.

March 9, 2021 7:02 am
Reply to  Amonk81

I don’t know, I may be the odd one out here, however I thought James perspective made a lot of sense and kind of refreshing to hear more in depth discussion than articles he puts out nowadays.

I liked Jame’s points on the following:
Why not to fire Walton now.
Buddy looking over his shoulder because of Hali’s success (something that Buddy shouldn’t put as much energy into IMO – especially if it is negatively impacting his performance – I would assume players have sports psych’s and what not?).
His point of if Holmes is still on the roster, then that is a great sign that Kings will re-sign (not rocket science, but he made it sound convincing like he knows inner workings more specifically).
How if Monte doesn’t speak to the audience more often, media will bite him in the ass when the tide is against him.
Also insights and some of the good things Luke has done as well. Things that I hadn’t considered before (apart from the 2nd most successful Kings Head coach thus far).

Jerry is always awesome, so I don’t feel I need to say too much about that, however James joining in on this cast is in my opinion the best pod so far.

March 9, 2021 7:07 am
Reply to  J-Fresh

Ohh and also the Pandemic financial effects. That was something that hasn’t been covered on this site before (that I recall anyway). – And how Jerry backed it up, if we play Tank game for too long, and don’t try to develop a winning culture, Bball may not be in Sacramento in 5 years. Considering the argument tends to be Tank or fire Walton, it is an excellent point to consider.

And the point that it’s not about the financials to save on trading for/away players, it is about what Monte can do with that cap. That is the right way to think.

Sure Ham gave a lot of his opinion here, and not all many would or need to agree with, however his perspective was appreciated during the listen. That is my point.

Last edited 1 month ago by J-Fresh
March 9, 2021 9:07 am
Reply to  J-Fresh

My point was he dominated the podcast and he is not why I listen or tune in !

March 9, 2021 11:59 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Fair enough if not your thing, however I disagree since I don’t even think he ‘dominated’ the pod. The rest all had plenty of input.

March 7, 2021 3:56 pm

Jerry is a treasure. Him calling Rick Adelman a dick is hilarious.

I love his insight on the team and the game. His Jerry-isms were great on TV but I don’t think a lot of people appreciate how knowledgeable he is.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brizz
March 7, 2021 6:30 pm

I understand the decision to trade or keep Barnes is somewhat complex, but I don’t really think Ham’s thought process holds much water. I thought Tim provided a compelling counter argument by saying the Kings got Gay and Barnes for basically a ham sandwich (pun intended). It really should not be that hard to find a league average big wing between now and next season if they were to trade Barnes.

March 7, 2021 11:18 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Tim?! TIM?! Just because we both sound like Kermit and have bad food takes…

March 8, 2021 9:08 am
Reply to  WGriffith

Lol I was actually “was it Tony or Will that made that point?” Then wrote Tim.

March 9, 2021 7:12 am
Reply to  RORDOG

I don’t think it is that easy…not for Kings. How long was it the age joke on the old board, ‘can he/she/it play SF’. Barnes has been the one to stop the SF bleed.

I am not saying you don’t consider trading him etc…But it may be a grave mistake to trade him without a solid plan in place to back-fill the SF position. Maybe a better move after the Draft – Next year.

March 7, 2021 10:08 pm

I just can’t understand the why or the how of what makes Ham claim that Luke is/can be a good coach, aside from the fact that he doesn’t want to lose his job.

Last edited 1 month ago by BeTheBall
March 7, 2021 10:20 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I also don’t get his take about Buddy “significantly” improving his defense and ball-handling.

March 7, 2021 11:48 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Yeah, there were some puzzling things there. Also some good stuff from Ham, to be sure.

But he has recently tweeted that Fox has taken two giant strides forward thgis year and has still not answsered the question what these strides are. The comment about Buddy bulking up so he can play SF is shocking to me, unless it was mandated/suggested by the FO, which would also be shocking.

I also did a double take with him giving credence to the playing bad the previous season because they went to india-excuse. Oh boy.

And claiming that Vlade could focus on Luke because otherwise he’d interview the same retreads as he’d done two years before just annoyed me. I am glad that he got some pushback on that, since there are indeed a lot of good college/G-league and promising young assistant coaches out there and there is zero excuse for limiting the search to Luke Walton and Henry Bibby and so forth.

March 7, 2021 10:45 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Honestly, his slant and irrationality was disappointing to hear. Jerry even called Ham out on a couple things. All that injury and Covid excuse bullshit. etc.

I only hope McNair, or whoever’s making the decisions, doesn’t hold the same irrational opinions.

Nostradumbass 18
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March 7, 2021 11:11 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I thought that whole “fans wanting Luke fired don’t like him because he was involved with the Lakers” did kind of make me shake my head.

Last edited 1 month ago by Klam
March 7, 2021 11:21 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

The covid thing is just nonsense. It would make sense if the Kings were the only team to deal with covid, but the entire league is dealing with it, and teams have found a way to progress. I mean, the Knicks are actually over .500.

March 8, 2021 8:31 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

The Kings have actually been among the teams less impacted by COVID.

March 7, 2021 10:32 pm

Anytime someone uses the word “ridiculous” this is what I see. #KAANGGZZ

I love that Ham and Jerry are on the pod. I hope yall can land McNair someday!

March 8, 2021 3:05 am
Reply to  PlayoffModeT


KAAAAAANGZ. I believe when you look up the word ridiculous, there is a pic of Buddy and Bagley morphed into one.

March 7, 2021 11:28 pm

I thought this was a great podcast but I really disagreed with one key point.

I really couldn’t care less if Monte McNair never spoke to the media. What exactly would be so great about him speaking to the media or giving an interview every month? The only thing that should matter is the results and it’s hard to judge him when he’s only half a season into the job. What would you want him to say right now that would make you feel better?

Also, the point about the media being harder because they don’t have a relationship with them or because that person doesn’t talk to them is so ridiculous. So is that why Vlade was treated with kid gloves by the media during his time here? Because he’s accessible and nice?

March 7, 2021 11:35 pm
Reply to  King4life

Yeah, I think at this point it’s seen as a knock because he’s radio silent, while we all know this roster is the antithesis of success. So, we know things have to overhaul dramatically to even think about being competitive, and until that first shoe drops, the “what the hell is he doing” is going to be there.

Taking this year’s draftees out of the equation, I think that there will only be two or three (at most) players on this current roster that are still around by the time the Kings return to the playoffs. To take it a step further, I also don’t think Bagley is one of them.

March 8, 2021 5:00 am
Reply to  King4life

He doesn’t need to answer questions from the media. But then I don’t have to appear to be interested in his basketball team (as it circles the toilet for another season), especially now that baseball season is starting.

Not that he has to be a media whore, but it would be nice to have some idea what his vision is for his basketball team.

March 8, 2021 9:36 am
Reply to  Otis

I think it is important for someone other than the coach and players to represent the team through the media. Coaches coach, players play, and the GMs build rosters. It just seems unfair that 2 out of 3 are essentially required to discuss their performance on a consistent basis.

March 7, 2021 11:30 pm

I loved Jerry’s ASG take. The game itself has been a joke for well over a decade, and the INT vs USA teams would be pretty compelling to watch.

That said, it’s also long past time for the dunk contest to go. Once the dunking stars left, and it got filled with a name or two and a bunch of possible future G-Leaguers, it became a big bowl of meh.

March 7, 2021 11:56 pm

The matter about Bjelica keeps fascinating me. Thanks for answering that question.

It seems that both Jerry and James – who know him – could not really believe that he refused to play. And if he did, that he was not kicked off the team or at least fined heavily.

And I still find it strange that this outburst only would have happened after Bjeli played the first 10 games off the bench and nothing seemed to indicate that he was angry or frustrated with his role.

And that would likely mean that (part of) this organization is still using the press to leak stories to discredit others in order to make the Kings organization look “good”. So not much has changed during the whole Vivek tenure.

And if this is not true, I find it disappointing that Monte is not stepping up to debunk those rumors. If you want to attract good players as an organization, you have to show that you are fair and straight. Players talk. Agents talk.

March 9, 2021 10:40 am
Reply to  RikSmits

On with the Spin of Confusion ..
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March 8, 2021 8:00 am

Is everyone too in shock to acknowledge the bomb Jerry dropped? “”We may be rooting for the Kings somewhere else in a few years” AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! That sounds worse than losing Barnes, Buddy, or even Holmes!

Last edited 1 month ago by Hamlet1989
March 8, 2021 8:23 am

James Hamm wants us to hold pat because we haven’t traded for anyone good in forever so we may as well give up

March 8, 2021 7:44 pm

Thanks guys, this was great. I could have done with a bit more Jerry too, but overall it was a fun conversation to listen to and these have moved to the top of my podcast list. Can’t wait for the next one!

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