The Sacramento Kings have been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the past couple weeks. First, there were reports that the team would fire head coach George Karl after less than a year on the job. Then, earlier this week, they reportedly backed off of that stance and will stick it out with Karl moving forward.
The whole situation was messy and Karl was left hanging in the wind, which seems unfair to the head coach.
“I felt that there was a period of days where George Karl was out there publicly dangling,” said NBA TV analyst Stu Jackson on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones show. “I hate to see that for any coach, I hate to see that for any player in a perspective trade. I think it’s always good business practice when you’re contemplating a decision or a personnel within your team, keep it within your team. When you make a decision, make a decisive move.”
“It’s obvious after meeting with George Karl and making the decision to retain him that there was contemplation previous to that about possibly firing him,” said Jackson. “I just think that’s unfair and bad business practice when you are going to terminate someone or not you need to leave them whole. I feel like George Karl was compromised through this process.”
The Kings are 22-31 on the season and in 10th place in the Western Conference, 4.5 games back of Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot. The organization hasn’t made the postseason for the last 10 seasons. In a case like this, who’s to blame for the playoff drought?
“I don’t want to assess blame because they don’t own the market for NBA franchises being dysfunctional,” said Jackson. “But, what happened in Sacramento throughout the ownership process is not uncommon in the NBA. Often times the newer age owners today are obviously very smart guys, very wealthy guys, who love the sport and want to be a part of it. But, generally when they take over ownership of teams, their behavior is very similar.”
“They’re excited, they want to operate this basketball franchise they way they do their own business. Which is to experience growth and experience growth as quick as they can. The problem is, when they have a professional sports franchise and something called the collective bargaining agreement. It doesn’t always lend itself to instant growth depending on the situation that your franchise is in. They spend a lot of money they want instant gratification and when they don’t get it, and find out ‘boy this is really a difficult thing, I have to deal with players everyday, there’s a CBA every day, I’m now losing money. This takes real money to operate, and they pull back. But, when they pull back they’re generally in that space in the NBA of mediocrity, which is very difficult to get out of.”