by Charlie O. Mallonee
The Sacramento Kings have fired their head coach Michael Malone. The team has not made an official announcement, but multiple news agencies are reporting the dismissal while the Sacramento Bee states it has confirmed the firing.
The Kings have been playing through a very difficult stretch as their All-star caliber center DeMarcus Cousins as been out due to viral meningitis. Sacramento is just 2-7 with Cousins out of the lineup. The loss of Cousins’ 23.5 points and 12.6 rebounds per game has been devastating for the team. The Kings do not have the team depth to win consistently without Cousins on the floor.
Malone may have been a victim of his own success. His team won nine of its first 14 games bringing hope and energy to the fan base. The Kings have posted just a 2-8 record over the last 10 games and the excitement about the team has waned.
David Aldridge of NBA.com reports,“Sources indicated management was not happy with the team’s style of play or the direction of the team under Malone, who was hired in 2013 and went 28-54 in his first season.”
Malone’s point of emphasis was defense. He analyzed his team’s defensive play after every game. Kings ownership and management were known to be placing a greater emphasis on playing a more uptempo offense which the team has been inconsistent at executing.
Malone’s record as coach was 30-67.
Reports have Kings assistant Tyrone Corbin taking over the team as the interim coach. Corbin is the former head coach of the Utah Jazz.
The Kings next game is Tuesday versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.