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Report: Luke Walton officially on the hot seat

Luke Walton's time as Kings coach could be coming to an end sooner rather than later if he doesn't get the team back on the right track.

According to a new report by the Athletic's Sam Amick & Shams Charania, Kings coach Luke Walton is officially on the hot seat as the team finds themselves mired in a four-game losing streak and sitting at just 5-8.

The Kings, who started the season 5-4 before falling to Indiana, Phoenix, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, are determined to break their 15-year playoff drought, the NBA’s longest, and Walton won’t be given the same leeway to turn things around as he was last season. Especially when it comes to extended losing streaks.

Last season, the Kings were in a very similar situation, starting the season 5-4 before dropping a 9 game losing streak immediately after.  It wouldn't be their only 9 game losing streak either as they followed it up with another one two months later.  Despite that, Walton was retained this summer with Monte McNair saying the following in his end of season press availability:

We found some success especially late in the season to get back into the play-in race, and ultimately, I felt that we could build on that and that he's the coach who is going to get us back to the playoffs.

That statement isn't looking too great right now, but it was also a clear edict for what the team's expectations were going to be coming into this season.  In the competitive Western Conference, every game counts and even one extended losing streak could be the difference between the playoffs and being on the outside looking in.

For Walton and the Kings, it's do or die time, starting tonight in Detroit.

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Kosta
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November 15, 2021 9:29 am

Let’s Go Pistons!
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Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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November 15, 2021 11:03 am
Reply to  Kosta

Kiss the Coach goodbye!comment image

TitleChaser
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November 15, 2021 9:31 am

I don’t want him in the hot seat. I want him in an ejection seat.

Kosta
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November 15, 2021 9:34 am
Reply to  TitleChaser

I hope he uses a coaches challenge in the first quarter of his last game.

catterj
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November 15, 2021 9:37 am
Reply to  Kosta

The tip goes out of bounds. Luke: “Challenge!!!”

SexyNapear
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November 15, 2021 10:02 am
Reply to  TitleChaser

Monte hasn’t covered himself in glory, failing miserably for two seasons to make an impact deal.

But Vivek is quickly making the Maloofs look brilliant

RikSmits
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November 15, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  TitleChaser

Why doesn’t Tenor have the ejection seat gif from Canonball Run?
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Amonk81
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November 15, 2021 11:55 am
Reply to  TitleChaser

Yes! Get rid of him yesterday. Lose lose lose!

This fuckwits shouldn’t have held onto him. Ridiculous that there is even a path to keeping Puke.

He’s shown he’s a bad coach over and over and over. If they fire Puke I think perhaps McNair is in control and still think they hung onto him because of Vivek pressure-money.

TerzoM
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November 15, 2021 9:33 am

Turns out Fox is a double-agent. Woo Hoo! Help us bring Walton to the firing linecomment image

andy_sims
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November 15, 2021 9:41 am
Reply to  TerzoM

Walton did throw Fox under the bus last week. I’m hoping that it may have nudged Fox a bit off of his support for Walton.

catterj
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November 15, 2021 9:35 am

I think if the Kings struggle to the playin that might be enough to extend Alton which must be avoided at all costs. Might as well fire him midseason to make sure it happens. I’m hoping for a Gentry turnaround similar to McMillan with the Hawks last season though realistically on a lesser scale. That’s probably not happening but whatever, get LLLLuke out of there ASAP.

Kosta
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November 15, 2021 9:39 am
Reply to  catterj

comment image

rockbottom
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November 15, 2021 9:45 am
Reply to  catterj

Gentry has been fired 5 times as a head coach ! All time NBA record !

Gregoryl
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November 15, 2021 10:06 am
Reply to  rockbottom

What is Gentry’s rep as a coach? Walton’s “player’s coach” mentality has certainly blown up in his face and this team is sorely in need of some discipline.

SPTSJUNKIE
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November 15, 2021 10:30 am
Reply to  rockbottom

Our franchise likes to be a part of record setting futility, so we are destined to be #6.

SexyNapear
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November 15, 2021 10:00 am
Reply to  catterj

Make Christie the interim. Good audition.

rff
citykidd
November 15, 2021 10:10 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

I would make Bobby Jackson the interim.

RobHessing
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November 15, 2021 10:14 am
Reply to  citykidd

What did Bobby Jackson ever do to you?

RikSmits
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November 15, 2021 10:21 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Yeah, it’s not like he tapped a rebound to Horry.

RobHessing
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November 15, 2021 10:26 am
Reply to  RikSmits

comment image

rff
citykidd
November 15, 2021 10:27 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Jackson played hard, and I think guys would play hard for him. Just a feeling, I could be wrong.

RikSmits
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November 15, 2021 10:36 am
Reply to  citykidd

Like for Doug Christie?
It isn’t that simple.

rff
citykidd
November 15, 2021 10:47 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Actually it is. It’s not only about X’s and O’s, it’s about making the right in game decisions/adjustments at the right time and the players buying in and willing to sacrifice in a team concept. Have you ever coached?

RikSmits
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November 15, 2021 11:00 am
Reply to  citykidd

Yes, but not in the NBA. You?

And all that stuff you’re writing has nothing to do with having played hard, and get players to play hard for him.

What makes you think that Bobby or Doug is better than NBA greats such as Isiah Thomas?

rff
citykidd
November 15, 2021 11:40 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Yes, but of course not in the NBA. I haven’t said anything about Christie. Didn’t mean to come off as a jerk, but I think Jackson’s credentials as an assistant are just as good as some other assistants from other teams, whose names are floated whenever an head coaching vacancy comes up. At the end of the day, we’re all just fans that want the team we root for to win. I’ll be in front of the TV at 4pm. Go Kings!!!

RikSmits
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November 15, 2021 12:01 pm
Reply to  citykidd

All good.

I like Jackson, but we have an annoying tendency to overrate our own guys, especialluy those from the glory years.

I can be completely wrong.

But when I hear guys like Wes Unseld Jr. disect a game or play(er), or give explantions postgame, I just see a different level.

andy_sims
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November 15, 2021 2:26 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

“Annoying” barely scratches the surface. “Franchise-destroying” feels a bit closer, but I’m probably being too generous.

murraytant
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November 15, 2021 2:43 pm
Reply to  citykidd

I like Bobby but I don’t think he is a head coach.
Doug may be in time but is not ready.

Gentry has been moderately successful in the past and is a head coach.
Some of the newer young coaches seem to be doing fine- never heard of them and then they do ok.
Unseld Jr. would have been a good choice.
I just think fluke is out of his depth.
I like Mitchell but fluke plays him at PG too often. Team is unbalanced – duh. Harkless fading. Metu not the answer.
If fluke does not beat BOTH Detroit and Minnesota, he should get fired.

Klam
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November 15, 2021 10:33 am
Reply to  RobHessing

“Congratulations, Bobby! You are now the interim head coach of the Sacramento Kings!”
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Klam
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November 15, 2021 9:35 am

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Kosta
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November 15, 2021 9:40 am
Reply to  Klam

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Klam
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November 15, 2021 9:45 am
Reply to  Kosta

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RandyBreuersNeckHair
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November 15, 2021 9:37 am

The idea that the result of tonight’s game should have anything to do with whether or not the coach has a future here is insane to me.
Just fire that man.

Klam
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November 15, 2021 9:38 am

Should’ve been done LONG ago.

Ifeanyi
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November 15, 2021 1:26 pm
Reply to  Klam

Really should’ve never been hired in the first place…

Kosta
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November 15, 2021 9:38 am

Right?

If they win by a few points against the Pistons, fire him!

RikSmits
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November 15, 2021 10:15 am
Reply to  Kosta

If they win by a lot of points against the Pistons, fire him!

SPTSJUNKIE
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November 15, 2021 10:34 am

To be clear, I wouldn’t have brought him back for this season, but I don’t think it’s all about this game. It’s about a series of games losing to some of the easier teams on our schedule.

That blown lead in OKC was not only a pivotal, potentially season-impacting game, but it showed all of the team’s and Walton’s weaknesses from prior season. It was an inflection point.

And if we don’t go at least 2-2 against the 4 easier teams, there’s no reason to keep him around if there is any outside hope of saving the season.

I still think Monte and team deserve and will get at least one more season after this, but at some point they have to start getting itchy to mix things up and show that it’s not the roster that is the primary issue.

Amonk81
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November 15, 2021 11:59 am

He should have never been hired. Never given an extension. Never been kept and shoulda allowed GM to bring in his coach.

Vivek, you are an Fucking idiot-blondes by your ego. How the hell he can keep doing the wrong thing is astounding.

MillersCornrows
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November 15, 2021 1:17 pm

Thank You. Walton’s ass should have been warm for a while.

andy_sims
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November 15, 2021 9:39 am

“Oh, that’s a shame,” said no one.

And McNair’s statement, in retrospect, seems to have had a useful subtext, in that it started the clock running on Walton’s tenure. As the playoffs (1 through 8, not just the play-in) recede farther and farther from possibility, it makes replacing Legacy Hire much easier.

He has one job, and he’s already digging the kind of hole that will make it impossible to achieve it.

I really wish that I had a long knife-sharpening business near DoCo right now.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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November 15, 2021 9:39 am

Could anyone really be surprised by this? I mean, could anyone who follows the Kings or even the NBA not have seen this coming?

Who is ready for Gentry to stumble this team into the play-in tournament then have him get extended this summer? Kings will then win an average of 37 games per year for the next 3 seasons under Gentry until we get interim Coach Christie in 2025.

Rinse and repeat.

Klam
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November 15, 2021 9:41 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Vivek: “I make new mistakes, I won’t make the same mistake again.”

TerzoM
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November 15, 2021 9:43 am
Reply to  Klam

“I don’t make the same mistakes twice. I make them three times or more”

catterj
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November 15, 2021 9:44 am
Reply to  TerzoM

“Fail fast. Fail often. Fail hard.”

Kosta
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November 15, 2021 9:48 am
Reply to  catterj

“Move fast and break things.”
–some techie nerd

SMF-PDXConnection
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November 15, 2021 9:52 am
Reply to  Kosta

He’s done a great job breaking our wills to watch this team.

Amonk81
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November 15, 2021 12:01 pm
Reply to  Klam

Vivek makes all kinda of mistakes. In fact, it’s all he does when it comes to the team. Worst 1-3 owners in sports.

andy_sims
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November 15, 2021 9:45 am
Reply to  Adamsite

If Gentry is bumped up, barring some remarkable turnaround, I don’t think he’ll be given the gig beyond interim status. I’d guess that McNair had a list of potential coaches even before he was hired, and that he’s been regularly updating it. He seems like he might be interested in going after a promising young gun who deserves a first chance, but as we all know, replacing Walton with as much as a potted plant would be an improvement.

BeTheBall
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November 15, 2021 12:44 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

While true that he may have a list. Gentry was also a Monte hire, so he’s likely on that list too. Making an interim shift double as an on-the-job interview.

andy_sims
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November 15, 2021 2:30 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Gentry as much as anyone else is basically the coaching equivalent of training wheels, as are most of the rest. I don’t know if Sacramento has the most assistant coaches in the league, but it seems like there’s one for every roster spot. They’re paying a fortune just to prop up Walton.

rockbottom
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November 15, 2021 9:48 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Really, the 5 time fired head coach is the answer !

Carl
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November 15, 2021 12:27 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Who is ready for Gentry to stumble this team into the play-in tournament then have him get extended this summer?

Yep. Walton is an idiot who should go (and was an idiot four months ago too). Replacing Walton is a can’t lose for the front office. If they win more games, they made the right choice, and if the season is already lost in late November, the local media will be happy to roll out the “new coach, no training camp” excuse for them all year.

At least minus Walton, I don’t see any way the team gets worse, so we have that going for us.

RobHessing
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November 15, 2021 12:29 pm
Reply to  Carl

I’ll tell you, whoever lands that 10 seed is going to be a bad basketball team. Minny? San Antonio? Sacramento? I smell a 36-46 team getting that seed.

Carl
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November 15, 2021 12:43 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I’ll tell you, whoever lands that 10 seed is going to be a bad basketball team. Minny? San Antonio? Sacramento? I smell a 36-46 team getting that seed.

That scenario gives me minor nightmares. The bar is so low we might have a parade.

I keep thinking (and kind of hoping) the TWolves are underachieving. Removing Walton is a good step, but it isn’t enough. Maybe hitting the all time playoff record (and missing the play-in) is enough to put the team in gear to make changes.

Last edited 1 year ago by Carl
KingsSince85
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November 15, 2021 4:29 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

It is NOT a 10 seed… It’s a opportunity to get the 8 seed. …And it is EXTREMELY unlikely that they would win two consecutive games to somehow get the 8th seed. Regardless of record, I don’t think that anyone will see a play-in loss as a successful season.

RobHessing
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November 16, 2021 11:19 am
Reply to  KingsSince85

Anyone?comment image

RPO
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RPO
November 15, 2021 9:44 am

So Monte wasted the entire offseason, when he could have spent time looking for a permanent replacement, just so we can have an interim person for the remainder of the year? Maybe he truly believed that Waltdumb was the coach that was going to lead us back to the playoffs? (talk about a quote that won’t agree well…)

RPO
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November 15, 2021 9:46 am
Reply to  RPO

Woops, “age well”

Last edited 1 year ago by RPO
TerzoM
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November 15, 2021 9:51 am
Reply to  RPO

I’ve posted this a few times. my suspicion is Ruindumbe made this request to Monte to save money, hence Monte’s “media response” to the press. I think Monte is a smart guy, had no choice to bide his time and show Vivek’s incompetence up for that last time. GMs typically pick their own coach, let’s see what happens. Go Kings 2022-future!

andy_sims
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November 15, 2021 10:04 am
Reply to  TerzoM

That’s pretty much what I think, too. McNair was saddled with a towel-waving dead weight when he was hired, and chose to not undermine his coach in the media, understanding that Walton was going to remain for at least the short-term.

When Walton does get bounced, is anyone actually going to complain that “but you said that Walton was the guy to get us to the playoffs?!?”

The answer is no, save for those who like Walton (I suppose it could happen), or those with an intractable issue with McNair, for whatever reason.

The weight attributed to McNair’s statement is entirely fictional.

RobHessing
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November 15, 2021 10:06 am
Reply to  TerzoM

I don’t disagree, but this goes back to the real GM vs. paper tiger GM discussion. I can’t give McNair credit for the draft picks and no responsibility for the head coach. If he is that poor of a salesman or negotiator that he can’t get who he wants as his head coach, then how do we give him credit for pulling the trigger on the players that he wants in the draft or via trade?

I felt this way with Petrie, PDA, Divac, and now McNair. Either the front office gets full credit or no credit, but no cherry picking.

To your point, it is very likely that Ranadive is the issue, as he has been the one constant during the shit show that has been his ownership. But if that is the case, I’ll give Vivek the credit for Hali and Mitchell, and the blame for everything else as well.

RikSmits
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November 15, 2021 10:20 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Hear hear.

andy_sims
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November 15, 2021 10:24 am
Reply to  RobHessing

In a vacuum, this makes perfect sense.

In a vacuum.

Amonk81
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November 15, 2021 12:18 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Agree that Vivek is the issue. He’s always been the issue.

However, I do find it possible that McNair took the job and Vivek put some constraints on him, like he can’t fire Puke because of $ etc. From thst perspective I see McNair working within the parameters. maybe hoping to get full control.

I know I use WFT example but it’s similar. Rivera was hired by Danny and given control, except he didn’t allow Ron to get rid of Dwayne Haskins (Trashcans) and draft a QB.

But Ron eventually gave Haskins the boot because he, like Puke was horrible.

PhutureKings
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November 15, 2021 12:23 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I have to disagree. I think it’s more than possible (meaning very likely) that Vivek gave McNair a mandate to keep Walton for this next year, promote an interim coach after Walton gets fired midseason, and then gets to pick his own coach. That sequence saves a lot more money than firing Walton after last season and hiring a new head coach before this season tipped off.

So, I think McNair deserves credit for making the draft picks and moves he has (the Buddy Laker deal was Pelinka’s fault). Mitchell was a gutsy pick (at the time). And at the same time he has to own some stench Vlade left behind bc Vivek needs to save money.

RobHessing
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November 15, 2021 12:27 pm
Reply to  PhutureKings

If McNair had to take the job with the provision that he keep Walton for two years, he’s a paper tiger.

Adamsite
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November 15, 2021 12:30 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yup. and even worse, nothing will change because Vivek is still calling the shots. S.A.I.E.W.

andy_sims
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November 15, 2021 3:51 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Also, babies born addicted to crack need to man up and accept responsibility for their problem. You never hear one undermining its mother, either.

This will probably be most inappropriate thing today, if there are concerns.

oshima9
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November 15, 2021 2:37 pm
Reply to  PhutureKings

as an aside, the Lakers really screwed themselves by not going through with the deal for Hield

he would have been a great fit there, unlike an aging Westbrook

andy_sims
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November 15, 2021 3:52 pm
Reply to  oshima9

All true. There was no way they were going to pass up the opportunity to get a hall of fame player, regardless of fit. They can’t help themselves.

Marty
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November 15, 2021 10:11 am
Reply to  RPO

Maybe Vivek didn’t want to pay two head coaches this year.

 just so we can have an interim person for the remainder of the year? Maybe he truly believed that Waltdumb was the coach that was going to lead us back to the playoffs? 

TheGrantNapear
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November 15, 2021 9:46 am

Meh, we’re going to suck either way.

Marty
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November 15, 2021 10:12 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Yep. Give it to Doug and watch it all burn.

RobHessing
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November 15, 2021 9:49 am

Luke Walton’s time as Kings coach could be coming to an end sooner rather than later if he doesn’t get the team back on the right track.

Wait, this team was on the right track at some point?comment image

Klam
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November 15, 2021 9:54 am
Reply to  RobHessing

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SMF-PDXConnection
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November 15, 2021 9:57 am
Reply to  Klam

Poor Thomas.

Amazing we can feel more sadness for a toy train than anyone involved with running the Kings.

Klam
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November 15, 2021 10:03 am

Welcome to Basketball Hell.
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Bluejohn
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November 15, 2021 10:17 am

When my son was somewhere in the 3-4 age range when I came home from work I had to play Thomas the tank engine with him for an hour and then come up with a new Thomas story for bedtime.

He went to the Thomas the Tank Engine movie when it came out 4 years later he didn’t remember all the time we spent playing Thomas…….nothing.

I hope it’s like that after Luke Walton gets fired!

AmateurNerd
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November 15, 2021 10:52 am
Reply to  Bluejohn

Ungrateful prick. But seriously, when my daughter was 3 I had to come up with a new song about Moana every night before bed. She remembers none of those songs. I could have released four whole albums and a greatest-hits collection. Punk.

KingOfTheMonsters
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November 15, 2021 11:37 am
Reply to  Klam

Walton is causing confusion and delay.

Hozr
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November 15, 2021 11:35 am
Reply to  RobHessing

We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

MillersCornrows
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November 15, 2021 1:18 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

The Kings need to get back to being a team to compete for the play-in, or as Draper calls it, the playoffs!

AnybodyButBagley
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November 15, 2021 9:49 am

Great time to showcase Bagley with a start in Detroit.

There is an opportunity for the front office to help this along.

You keep losing and you will be fired…by the way Bagley starts tonight. Figure out a way to hide the worst defender in the history of basketball.

We can lose Walton and Bagley all in the same day. Maybe we get CoJo back?

Kosta
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November 15, 2021 10:02 am

Marvin belongs in Motown!
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Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
Hozr
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November 15, 2021 11:37 am

You want them to see up close and personal how bad he is?

Good plan.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 15, 2021 12:03 pm
Reply to  Hozr

If it helps get rid of Walton yes.

Bagley is a known shit bag in the NBA. He has proven that for three years.

BobbyFresh
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November 15, 2021 9:50 am

I think part of the reason Walton has lasted this long is that they’ve had such a bad history of firing coaches. I think McNair has been trying to get the team some stability in that way. It’s just too bad Luke is what he’s had to try and get that stability. At least Gentry is a bona fide coach to fill in as interim, compared to some of the other coaches we’ve seen over the last decade and a half.

Ccc
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November 15, 2021 9:57 am

should have done it at the end of last season, good grief. Maybe they were hoping to get enough improvement out of the team to make it more attractive to a replacement.

1951
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November 15, 2021 9:59 am

Monty’s first big black eye. Wasted a season by keeping Luke Walton on.

If you fire him now, you are admitting he was never your guy. So, why did we let Luke waste another season?

kings4ever
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November 15, 2021 10:51 am
Reply to  1951

Oh so the season is already wasted? Uh, okay.

I wanted Fluke gone as much as anyone but McGenius had to create the illusion of stability and continuity going into free agency. What do you think the odds would have been to retain Holmes if we fired this coach the day after the season?

Now you can say we should have just signed Holmes then canned the coach, but Holmes new deal was predicated on returning to play for the coach under whom he fluorished and whom he trusted.

If you sign Holmes then fire the coach, you mislead the player and betray him and run the risk to earn a bad reputation among the league and future free agents as someone not to be trusted. Your word is not your bond it is hollow .

The other important consideration to keep or can is last year the mandate was to find out if Marvin could be a cornerstone. He did not earn the starting job he was gifted it to see if he could be a real player.

From the start of last training camp, I was clammering for us to move HB to the 4, start Ty and Fox, Buddy at the 3, Holmes at the 5. That was our best lineup then and many would contend it is our best lineup now.

But there was a call on high, I strongly suspect, to see if Marvin was the real deal, legit or not, and that was going to be determined only if he was given the opportunity to sink or swim in a starters role.

One way you can infer this was an arrangement, not decision based on merit, is Marvin rarely was on the floor to finish games. If he had truly earned the starting PF job over Holmes or even Bjelica, would not there have been more instances where he was on the floor in crunch time?

I think the agent for Marvin communicated to the FO if you want to see what Marvin can do, despite past struggles or setbacls, give him starting nod, give him the same chance as Luka and Donovan and Trae and etc, all starters from Day One.

With this variable in effect, you cannot solely lay the failure of last season at the feet of the coach. And I am not defending this loser coach, I am just being objective as I can. Marvin was never good enough to be a starter, HB was so much better, it was so obvious, and this is one instant where I will give this coach the benefit of the doubt.

As bad as things are now, imagine how bad they would be less Holmes? Then you have no legitimate starting center. It was around a 50/50 proposition to bring him back not knowing for sure what kind of offer Holmes would get if any from TOR and CHA.

I contend if this coach was fired it would have soured Holmes and emboldened the suitors, winning with an equal bid, with flux and instability and unknown of a new vacancy working against us resigning Holmes.

The odds would have fallen to maybe 30% for us to retain Holmes, and this had to play into the thinking of McGenius.

But NOW all bets are off. Even with the roster imbalance, and the trade that fell through, the talent upgrade has occurred.

You cannot contend that McGenius has not been anything other than perfectly fair and patient, exceedingly so, and created conditions for the coach to succeed, if not as top contender than certainly a .500 team, and hoping against hope that this coach may finally figure it out.

I could see the argument where if the coach was fired end of last season he could privately have claimed raw deal, because the year was not only about winning, it was deciding if they had a player or not with the former #2 selection. Now he can point the finger at no one but himself.

I kind of want the Pistons to win tonight. Lets go Cade!

And if tonight is the end, the glorious end for this coach, I hope we promote BJax as the interim, not Gentry.

Alvin Gentry is a never-was, bland personality, retread, waning energy having to overcome the generation gap to resonate with the players.

Players will respond to BJax, no nonsense matter of fact, been there, seen that. BJax also showed an intuitve feel for lineups and substition during LSVL something the current coach has no affinity for.

.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 15, 2021 10:53 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Just too much….

WizsSox
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November 15, 2021 12:20 pm

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1951