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Report: Sacramento Kings assistant coach Rex Kalamian is joining Dwane Casey’s coaching staff in Detroit

Another assistant coach is reportedly leaving Luke Walton's staff.

Monte McNair may have retained head coach Luke Walton after a bumpy sophomore season in Sacramento, but for the second straight offseason it appears as though Walton's coaching staff will undergo some fairly significant changes.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Kings assistant coach Rex Kalamian is leaving Sacramento to join Dwane Casey's coaching staff in Detroit. Beyond that, we don't have a ton of details.

Luke Walton also lost Bobby Jackson from his player development staff last month when it was announced that Jackson would be taking a head coaching position with the Stockton Kings, and last offseason the Kings had to replace Igor Kokoškov with veteran NBA coach Alvin Gentry.

Coaching staff turnover is fairly common in the NBA, and Kalamian has a prior relationship with Dwane Casey from their time in Toronto together, so this isn't a terribly surprising move, but it does leave the Kings with a pretty big hole on their coaching staff.

Rex Kalamian came to Sacramento with a great defensive reputation, and was often credited for coordinating the Raptors and Clippers defensive improvements, but we didn't see any of that in Sacramento. I'm not going to lay blame on any individual member of the Kings' coaching staff for Sacramento's defensive incompetence €“ we just don't know who controls which decisions and to what degree €“ but a new defensive coordinator in Sacramento wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. They're already at the bottom, so it can only get better from here. I think.

Good luck to Rex Kalamian in Detroit. And let's hope that whoever the Kings add to Luke Walton's coaching staff next can make a real positive impact on team defense.

 

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andy_sims
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June 15, 2021 11:13 am

Shouldn’t have any real impact on the defense.

MichaelMack
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June 15, 2021 11:16 am

It will be good for Rex to be able to coach CoJo again in Detroit. Hopefully he will be empowered to fully utilize CoJo in a way that he wasn’t able to in Sac, since CoJo was buried on the bench under Walton.

krswin
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June 16, 2021 9:15 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

Deservedly buried on the bench.

krswin
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June 16, 2021 9:16 am
Reply to  krswin

And he wasn’t.

RikSmits
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June 15, 2021 11:25 am

Great, I can already see the excuses: “Last season, Rex really laid the foundation for the defense to take big step this season. And now we had to learn new schemes under Henry Bibby.”

Carl
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June 15, 2021 11:59 am
Reply to  RikSmits

“What the fans don’t understand is that it’ll take a season before the new defensive concepts take effect, so it would be unfair to judge Walton on the results before the 2022-23 season. Also, if you didn’t play professional basketball, you’re not allowed to have an opinion.”

Marty
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June 15, 2021 12:33 pm
Reply to  Carl

Luke: €œI’m happy where we’re at with our coaching vacancies.€

KingOfTheMonsters
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June 15, 2021 12:56 pm
Reply to  Carl

This verbal defense is the most effective defense the Kings have.

AmateurNerd
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June 15, 2021 1:54 pm

The Kings wouldn’t be much worse if they played actual verbal defense on the court. “Please, superior opponent, I ask you kindly not to score on this possession, as you are already up by 30. Please. Please. DAMMIT I SAID DON’T SCORE. Dammit, you scored.”

Gregoryl
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June 15, 2021 2:39 pm
Reply to  Carl

“Amen!”
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Last edited 1 year ago by Gregoryl
BeTheBall
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June 15, 2021 3:33 pm
Reply to  Carl

“I understand fans expect results now, but they simply don’t understand that in order for any coach to be successful they need at least 5 or 6 seasons to build a foundation and culture. Once that’s in place, they can start implementing their playbook. So, it’s really not until year 10 of Walton’s time with the club that fans should start looking toward making a run at the play-in.”

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
June 15, 2021 12:35 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

It’s scary how true this quote may become.

BestHyperboleEver
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June 15, 2021 1:24 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

As I’ve said many times, if it takes that long to implement a scheme you either have the wrong players, the wrong coach, or both.

Amonk81
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June 16, 2021 11:03 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Vivek and Co are such morons€”Van Grundy fires after only 1 year. I’m sure they owe him plenty of $.

Meanwhile Walton signs a lifetime contract based on nothing but losing.

The Kings are the worst, most stubborn, ego driven team in sports.

SMF-PDXConnection
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June 15, 2021 11:26 am

I really wish there were Glassdoor ratings for NBA teams’ basketball ops.

FWIW, they have a 3.8 Glassdoor rating.

Carl
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June 15, 2021 12:00 pm

Is that out of 100?

RobHessing
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June 15, 2021 11:33 am

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Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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June 15, 2021 12:15 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

“Hello Rex. Would you like to renew your contract to stay with the Sacramento Kings?”
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Marty
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June 15, 2021 11:35 am

Fly away little bird, be free.

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LesJepsen3pointer
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June 15, 2021 11:42 am

“They’re already at the bottom, so it can only get better from here. I think.”

“I think” was a wise addition. On paper, the second worse defense of all-time may seem like the bottom, but hey now, we ALL know that’s a false bottom.

To the abyss!

Carl
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June 15, 2021 11:56 am

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RobHessing
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June 15, 2021 12:11 pm

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Carl
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June 15, 2021 3:41 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Rex’s defense against chin COVID is on point.

AnybodyButBagley
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June 15, 2021 12:13 pm

Cannot imagine why a defensive minded coach would want to leave a team full of players who refuse to play defense.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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June 15, 2021 12:28 pm

I raise you a Coach Tibs and the Knicks and counter with it primarily wasn’t the players fault.

AnybodyButBagley
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June 15, 2021 12:38 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Agree that Tibs can coach. The supposed core of the young super team is Bagley, Hield, and Fox. Based on athletic ability they are capable of playing defense but, do not.

Haliburton is the surprise that landed in their lap. The mid season additions play average defense which makes them stand out on the Kings roster. I also think that the ownership in New York is also crazy enough that players actually believe that they will ride the bench no matter how much they get paid. In Sacramento the two worst defenders in the NBA were guaranteed starting spots.

Watching New York play was enjoyable at times. Actually seeing players run back to play defense was refreshing.

Last edited 1 year ago by AnybodyButBagley
AmateurNerd
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June 15, 2021 1:55 pm

Yeah, college professors get annoyed teaching kindergartners.

AnybodyButBagley
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June 15, 2021 9:27 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

When you watch kindergarten rec players they at least put their arms straight up in hopes of blocking a shot or stealing a pass.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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June 15, 2021 12:26 pm

Now go out and hire Steve Clifford as assistant and have him run the defense. That would tell me you at least acknowledge and care about being the worst defensive team in the NBA.
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Last edited 1 year ago by Adamsite
4on5
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June 15, 2021 12:53 pm
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Hi, Steve it’s the Kings. We’re got an opening on our bench.

I know there is a league-wide assumption that Vivek is firing Luke once we can afford to do that, but I tell you he’s our guy. We’d like you to assist him. Based upon the impacts of Covid, we were hoping you’d be willing to work for what we we’re paying Rex.

Hello Steve are you there?

Did we get disconnected?

AmateurNerd
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June 15, 2021 1:56 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Shia LaBeouf has a better defensive stance than Bagley in this gif.

Gregoryl
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June 15, 2021 2:42 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

“Welcome new assistant, Aneel Ranadive! It was 100% my choice!”
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1951
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June 15, 2021 12:27 pm

Only the Kings can find a way to go down from the bottom!

😜

SMF-PDXConnection
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June 15, 2021 12:54 pm
Reply to  1951

They’re trying to expand the fanbase to the Mariana Trench!

4on5
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June 15, 2021 1:07 pm

Matina Trench?

RobHessing
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June 15, 2021 12:54 pm
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Klam
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June 15, 2021 1:07 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

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Bill2455
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June 15, 2021 12:54 pm

Clearly neither defense nor player development were strong suits for the Kings. Neither will be missed.

4on5
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June 15, 2021 1:00 pm

What coach wouldn’t want to work for Vivek, coach the messed up Kings, assisting Luke Walton, on a staff that’s going to turn over soon, making budget conscious third assistant money? Should be super easy to nail the next hire.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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June 15, 2021 1:39 pm

I now fully expect the Kings to hire a well deserving female assistant head coach. I know she will be more than worthy and will bring a bunch of knowledge to the bench, but that’s now why the Kings will do it. They will hire a female because:

1) It’s all about the optics for this franchise and they hope it will help with butts in seats.

2) They think they will be able to pay her less because no male coach wants to come to Sac for peanuts.

As sad and pathetic as this all sounds, I wouldn’t put it past the team at this point. I think we’ve fallen to the Maloof’s drafting Jimmer level of financials.

RAP87
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June 15, 2021 1:52 pm

Good for Rex. He probably figured out Luke is going to his last season with the Kings so better cut bait and take the more stable job in Detroit.

RobHessing
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June 15, 2021 2:03 pm
Reply to  RAP87

Better to be Piston than pissed off?

Last edited 1 year ago by RobHessing
Klam
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June 15, 2021 6:25 pm
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4on5
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June 15, 2021 2:08 pm

The way the franchise mines nostalgia to cover the smell, I’m just assuming that Funderburke will end up with the job. They’ll ask Hedo first, but he already settled on a different ineffective dictator

Carl
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June 15, 2021 3:49 pm
Reply to  4on5

Erdogan the job!

Rosevillain
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June 15, 2021 2:16 pm

Not sure what’s worse, the worst defensive coach in history turning the Kings down, or that he did it thinking 20-52 Detroit is a better situation.

Kangz_Landing
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June 15, 2021 2:37 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

What’s worse is the Detroit situation IS the better situation.

Better to have a clean slate coaching a team full of young pups than trying to beat a dead horse telling vets to properly help on a picknroll or go over a screen or run out on a shooter.

SuperShaka
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June 15, 2021 4:06 pm

Makes sense. Leaving to join a head coach that just signed an extension and you’ve been successful under previously.
Rex looks to have upgraded from having a job to having job security.

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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June 15, 2021 10:17 pm

A couple of things that need mentioning.

  1. The basketball team is so bad that two people from the kings staff would rather work in Stockton and Detroit than maintaining their career path in Sacramento on this staff at this time.
  2. I spent half a season listening to Mark Jones telling me that Holmes was so great at defense he was definitely all NBA, or at least second team, and at the very least Mark Jones was damn sure going to give him his vote. Holmes got no votes, therefore he did not get Mark Jones vote. Call a game any way you want Mark Jones, but take your carpetbagging, lying ass back to the big city if you are just going to flatly lie to the fans of Sacramento.
AnybodyButBagley
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June 16, 2021 8:57 am

Does he actually have a vote or was he making that up?

andy_sims
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June 16, 2021 11:57 am

I get what you’re saying, but an assistant coach at the NBA level going to the D-League to get first-time head coaching experience isn’t really a detriment in regard to his career path. As long as Jackson isn’t being considered to run things on the Sacramento bench, it’s all good.

49taylaners
June 16, 2021 9:48 am

I would love to see Doug Christie get a shot to be on staff with his defensive acumen. He would certainly motivate the players to play D .

andy_sims
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June 16, 2021 12:00 pm
Reply to  49taylaners

I agree with you, DC really has an amazing eye for spotting player tells, and understands defensive play at the micro and macro level. If he’s expressed interest in coaching, I’d love to have him working with players in an official capacity.

rockbottom
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June 16, 2021 4:15 pm
Reply to  49taylaners

Doug would be a great hire as a Development coach ! Just hope they would not hire Kayte to be color analyst !

TerzoM
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June 16, 2021 12:32 pm

Do we need a Defensive fix or Dysfunctional fix?comment image

murraytant
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June 16, 2021 4:42 pm

I thought Rex K. was or could be a good coach. Disappointed in team performance- if he was not here, Kings would have given up 150 per game?
On good side opens a spot for another assistant-and 6 head coaches were let loose. Maybe Rex knows something

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