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Kings Pulse: Walton is gone… now what?

Is moving on from Walton enough to change this team's trajectory or does more need to happen?

With a full night to digest the news that Luke Walton has been fired as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, I shared my thoughts on the situation.

This episode goes through my variety of thoughts on the decision while including the moments from Monte McNair's press conference that was most notable.

The beginning couple minutes is spent talking about what went wrong during Luke Walton's tenure - specifically focused on how this season went downhill so so fast. Maybe a "players-coach" is just not the best way to optimize this group of personalities? Dave Joerger was starting an upwards trajectory...

There were two key takeaways I had from McNair's press conference and I spend some time talking about each of those during this episode. Those audio clips were included in the episode for you to hear for yourself and build your own opinions.

Walton being fired was understandable, and probably a smart move. BUT, the Sacramento Kings issues go much deeper than just the head coach that was in place. Monte McNair is going to start getting some fingers pointed his way if the team continues to struggle, and he deserves to.

The roster construction is wacky. There are so many guards, a variety of one-dimensional specialists, the lack of wings of obvious, and there is a clear void of playmakers after De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. It did seem like McNair presented his theory on where the team with this roster can find a clear strength that has not been identifiable throughout the first 17 showings.

Alvin Gentry was promoted to be the interim head coach in place of Walton. I went through some of Gentry's extensive coaching history which included three other interim jobs and an underwhelming amount of playoff appearances. Also, I explain why I'm hesitant to believe that Gentry taking the place of Walton will truly make a difference this season. I hope I'm wrong.

Also included in this episode is:

  • Why the Doug Christie rumor is so concerning
  • Do more moves need to be made this season?
  • A few potential head coaching candidates this next offseason
  • Could Gentry be more than an interim?

The Kings Pulse podcast is available on all major listening platforms.

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andy_sims
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November 22, 2021 9:28 am

A step in the right direction has finally been taken. There are still miles to go before any of us can sleep.

sonny
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November 22, 2021 9:57 am
Reply to  andy_sims

and promises to keep

andy_sims
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November 22, 2021 10:06 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I very much agree with you about the DC rumors. He’s absolutely on of my all-time favorite Kings players, but it would be nuts to assume that he’s currently ready to be the head coach of an NBA team, any more than Bobby Jackson is.

When your franchise is a historical loser, you simply can’t use alumni to solve your problems. Fresh blood is so necessary for something like this, and I’m hopeful that there will be some in t he first chair before next season, or ideally, by the end of the current one.

andy_sims
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November 22, 2021 12:20 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’ll also add that the notion of playing faster isn’t contingent on running all of the little guys out there. Jones runs like a deer, has quick feet on defense, and spreads the floor a bit. I don’t see why you can’t run lineups with two of Fox/Haliburton/Mitchell, Barnes at wing, and Jones & Holmes minding the paint.

No idea if it would work, but I do think that Jones offers the possibility.

eddie41
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November 22, 2021 1:17 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I like your idea of rotating the three guards so that two of them are playing at any given time (see Adelman rotations)

rockbottom
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November 22, 2021 4:26 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Impossible to play fast and win when defense and rebounding are well below average ! It has been proven historically ! Says a lot about Monte and Vivek’ coaching knowledge !

andy_sims
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November 22, 2021 12:48 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Also, let’s face it: This was a soliloquy.

eddie41
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November 22, 2021 12:28 pm

Good points. I think we saw in that matinee game against Indiana, when they trotted out onto the court like a bunch of zombies, that they were about to lose another 9 straight. Walton product. We’ve seen it. We know it. We don’t like it. Easy decision to fire him. The one exception was the stretch of time two years ago when he started Giles with Bogi and Fox (two PGs and one point center) which was interrupted by CoVid, and then Walton benched Giles in the bubble (?) … So now they want to play faster. Maybe that’s good, maybe not, I really don’t know, but it certainly sounds like a Vivek product. Didn’t really work out when he fired Malone for George Karl. Hasn’t worked out when … ah, whatever. but at least Gentry has had success as an interim coach, so as far as this year goes, he might do okay.

rockbottom
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November 22, 2021 4:27 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Gentry will be the coach next season for certain !

eddie41
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November 22, 2021 6:28 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

I’d bet against it, but you never know with the Kaaaa (don’t say it, don’t say it) the Kaaaaaaa (no, no, no!). You never know with the Kingz. (Almost there, not quite but could be worse).

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