Reports: Kings hire Luke Walton to be their next coach

luke walton - le bron

by Charlie O. Mallonee

To no one’s surprise, Sam Amick of reported earlier today that the Sacramento Kings had reached an agreement in principle with Luke Walton to become the next head coach of the team replacing Dave Joerger. Most reporters and analysts were speculating that Vlade Divac wanted Walton even before he parted ways with the Lakers.

There is no reason to doubt Amick’s reports. He has covered the Kings for years and has the respect of the front office. Amick is not a reporter who bites on the first shiny object in the water. If he did not feel there was real credence to the information he received, Amick would not have reported it.

The move also makes sense because the Kings reportedly tried to lure Walton to become their head coach before they hired Dave Joerger. Walton did not become a candidate for the Sacramento job at that time because the Lakers were pursuing him at the same time.

Walton will have Vlade’s trust

Walton and Divac were Lakers teammates in 2004-05 which was Divac’s final year as a player. They know each other well which is important to Divac who seems to very comfortable having an inner circle that is very familiar to him.

That can also be a detriment. One of the roles Walton may be able to play is to urge Divac to open up and expand the Kings front office to bring in more experienced executives to assist him in running the operation.

Because Walton will have an instant credibility factor with Divac, he will probably be included in making personnel decisions where Joerger was never included in that part of the operation. We know that because Joerger made no secret about his lack of involvement in personnel decisions.

Walton also is from the Steve Kerr coaching tree

luke walton

Walton is known for the incredible job he did filling in Steve Kerr when he was out due to medical issues. Walton led Golden State to a 39-4 record until Kerr was able to return to the bench.

Walton got off to a solid start with the Lakers in his first year as head coach, but ran into a firestorm when LeBron James joined the team in his second season the head man. LeBron not only cost Walton his job, but convinced Magic Johnson to bail out as President of Basketball Pperations. James manages to suck the air out of any team that he is a part of as a player, de facto coach, and de facto general manager.

Walton has his work cut out for himself

Walton has some strong returning players in De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marvin Bagley III, and Harry Giles III. Will Harrison Barnes invoke his $25-million option? Should the Kings resign or match offers for Willie Cauley-Stein? Who should the team pursue in free agency?

Sacramento finished nine games out the playoffs this season. It will be no easy task to break into the playoff tournament next season, but Walton will have four years to make this team a success.

Walton will be a different personality


Where Joerger was an introverted, close to the vest personality, Walton will an open, upfront star in front of the cameras. He will be a PR star for the Kings. That will be of help on an on-going basis. It will be something they haven’t had in long. long time. The fans and media will love it.

Help Wanted: Head Coach for Sacramento Kings – experience preferred

SAC vlade
Vlade Divac Photo: @NBCS

by Charlie O. Mallonee

On Thursday morning, the Sacramento Kings announced that the contract of General Manager Vlade Divac had been extended through the 2022-23 season. That certainly appeared to be good news as it means there will stability in the upper management of the Kings organization for the next four seasons.

Divac made some big moves quickly

First, he fired assistant general manager Brandon Williams. Williams had been the focus of controversy since last December when coach Dave Joerger threw him out of the Kings practice facility. Joerger believed that Williams was trying to have him fired for not using Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles III properly in games.

The unresolved tension between Joerger and Williams hung in the background of the basketball operation all season long. No one really talked about the problem, but everyone knew it existed and was unresolved. That changed Thursday morning.

One down – one to go

SAC joerger
Ex-Sacramento head coach Dave Joerger Photo: @NBCS

After Divac sent Williams packing, there was some thought that Dave Joerger may have won the battle over Williams. Then the word came down, Joerger had been summoned to Divac’s office and the rumor leaked that Joerger was going to get a pink slip.

It did not take long for the news to be confirmed. Joerger had indeed been fired, and the Kings were in the market for a new head coach following their most successful season in a decade.

Divac tried to explain things in a press conference

Here are the highlights of his comments:

  • Divac thanked Joerger for being a “good teammate” and for a job well done over his three years as head coach.
  • Divac also expressed that he had been evaluating the team since the All-Star Break and how they could rise to the next level.
  • The Kings GM also expressed that he thought the team could have (reporters emphasis: should have) made the playoffs this season.
  • He was very clear that taking things to the next level meant going into the playoffs.
  • Divac made it very clear that the decision to fire Joerger was his and his alone. He did indicate that he had informed ownership of his decision.
  • The GM feels the Kings timing is good because they have plenty of time before the draft and free agency begins to get a new coach in place.
  • Divac – to no one’s surprise did not name any potential candidates for head coach. Most reporters and analyst believe that Luke Walton is the number one target on Kings’ list even though he is still employed by the Lakers as of today.
  • Divac also stated that Williams will not be replaced. His duties will be absorbed by Peja Stojakovic and Ken Catanella.
SAC Walton
Next head coach of the Kings? Photo: @NBCS

Joerger did not do much to save his job

In this reporter’s opinion, Dave Joerger did not make a full court press to keep his job as head coach of the Sacramento Kings. His team went a pitiful 3-7 in their final 10 games in their effort to finish 41-41. When he should have been angry and ready to tear someone’s head off, Joerger remained stoic and apologetic for his team.

I think Joerger knew he was “a dead man walking” and had moved into a role of caretaker until the end of the season. It really is a sad ending to what was three years of hard work by Joerger and his coaching staff.

What’s next

The search and interviews begin. The Kings hope that they will be able to wrap up their coaching search quickly and with positive results.

Rockets work from downtown to beat the Kings 132-112 on Saturday night

Hou score

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings faced a Herculean task on Saturday night. First, they had to go for a win in the second game of a back-to-back set on the road for which the odds are against the road team. Second, the team they would have to defeat would be the Houston Rockets–one of the most talented “Tier One” teams in “the Association.”

This would also be the Kings’ fourth back-to-back set of games this season, which is just 16 games old for Sacramento. For a league that wanted to reduce the number of back-to-back games, the NBA seems to be doing a poor job of it when it comes to the Kings.

After losing to the Grizzlies on Friday night, the Kings came up short in Houston losing to the Rockets 132-112. The Rockets have won seven of their last nine games and have now won four games in a row. Simply put, the Rockets are on fire!

The Rockets’ plan was to slow the Kings down

Hou starters

Everyone in the NBA now knows the Kings’ plan is to run their opponent out of the building. The defense that appears to be the most effective against that plan is to slow down the Kings pace of play and force them into a half-court game. Sacramento appears to be unable to adjust when having to play at a slower pace.

The Kings shot 45.1-percent (46/102) overall for the contest. They hit on just 11-of-35 (31.4%) 3-point attempts. Even more important, SAC only had 12 attempts from the free throw line and converted just seven of those shots. Having just 12 free throw opportunities indicates that the Kings were not attacking the bucket.

Sacramento had just 14 fast break points in the game while the Rockets posted 17. When the opponent has more fast break points, the Kings are in serious trouble which they were on Saturday night.

The Rockets played their game to perfection

Hou Capela = 88

Kings radio broadcaster Gary Gerould described the Houston game as “pick and roll, isolation and deep 3-point shots.” The Rockets did all three of those things to perfection on Saturday night.

The Rockets shot 56.8-percent (46/81) for the game. They converted 20-of-47 (42.6%) of their 3-point shots. Houston hit 20-of-24 (83.3%) of their free throw attempts. Chris Paul tied his career-high with six 3-point baskets made in the game.

Houston dictated the action by playing the game according to their game plan while forcing the Kings to play a style other than their uptempo–run them out of the arena plan.

Key Kings Numbers

  • Buddy Hield leading scorer with 23 points, shooting 10-for-17
  • De’Aaron Fox posted 19 points, going 2-for-4 from downtown
  • Marvin Bagley III played 27-plus minutes and put 16 points in the book
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 14 points and had 5 assists in just 20 minutes
  • Every King in uniform appeared in the game on Saturday night
  • The Kings are now 8-8 for the season

Houston Stats

  • James Harden was the game’s leading scorer with 34 points
  • Clint Capela posted a double-double with 23 points and 16 rebounds
  • CP3 put up 24 points with 6-of- his 7 buckets being 3-pointers
  • Gerald Green scored 17 points in just 13:40 of playing time
  • The Rockets biggest lead in the game was 26 points
  • Houston is now 8-7 this season

The Kings are in the midst of controversy

Hou Joerger

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Kings’ head coach Dave Joerger could be on the “hot seat” for not playing younger players like Marvin Bagley III in favor of players like Nemanja Bjelica in order to get wins. Haynes premise was that Joerger was not following the script of developing young talent such Bagley, Harry Giles III, and Skal Labbissiere.

After the game, Kings general manager Vlade Divac issued a statement stating support for Joerger and his confidence in him.

Kings Press Row Podcast: October 10, 2018


press row podcast

Hosts: Jordan “Chape” Chapin & Charlie O

  • Will the Kings make the playoffs?

  • How many games will the Kings win?

  • Is Dave Joerger’s job safe?

  • Is Vlade Divac’s job safe?

  • Will the uptempo style work for the Kings?

  • The answers to these questions and more on in less than 30 minutes!

Kings go big, taking Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft

Intense Marvin Bagley III on the court at Duke Photo: @sacramentokings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings did not go off script on Thursday in the 2018 NBA Draft. When it was time for them to make the number two overall selection in the draft, the Kings wasted no time taking power forward Marvin Bagley III, a freshman from Duke. At 6-foot-11 and 234 pounds, Bagley is the prototype of the new big man in the NBA.

Bagley was a 2017-18 consensus First Team All-American. He was named NABC National Freshman of the Year and NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year. Bagley was named to the All-ACC Academic Team.

“I’m just too excited right now,” Bagley said after being selected by the Kings. “I can’t even describe the feeling I’m feeling right now. A lot of emotions running through me, seeing my family out there, happy for me, and friends that came. This has been great.”

“I’m super excited to get started with this franchise and keep it going and keep building,” said the newest member of the Sacramento Kings.

Vlade Divac on his new player

Bagley by the numbers in 2017-18

  • Played 33 games
  • Averaged 33.9 minutes per game
  • Averaged 21.0 points per game
  • 61.4 field goal shooting percentage (hitting 270-of-440 attempts)
  • 39.7 percent 3-point shooter (23-for-58)
  • 62.7 free throw shooting percentage (131-of-209)
  • 11.1 rebounds per game
  • 1.5 assists per game, 0.8 steals per game, 0.9 blocks per game

More on Bagley III

Playing with intensity Photo: @DukeMBB
  • Bagley is one of three players in ACC history to lead the league in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage. The other two players were Clemson’s Horace Grant and Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan (that’s not bad company).
  • Second player in ACC history to be named both ACC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season.
  • Set the Duke record for points, scoring average, rebounds, rebounding average, double-doubles, 30-point games and 20/10 games.

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Strengths
    • Runs the floor well, which leads to easy baskets
    • Good finisher in a crowd and can elevate for lobs (that should make D’Aaron Fox happy)
    • Finishes strong around the basket and possesses a soft touch
    • Can play facing the basket and has a nice shooting range
  • Weaknesses
    • He is not a great defender — has a tendency to be a “ball watcher”
    • Bagley is lefthand dominate and almost always finishes on his left. That will have to change at the next level.
    • He has a flat jumper and hits only 39.7-percent from 3-point range.
    • Bagley is just a 62.7-percent free throw shooter (a potential “hack-a-player” candidate)

Who does Bagley compare to?

The experts say Bagley III is very comparable to Amar’e Stoudemire. He can run the floor, do damage at the basket and struggles on defense.

Stoudemire in Israel
Stoudemire is still playing in Israel Photo: @Amareisrael

Kings Second-Round Pick: So long!

The Kings drafted Duke guard Gary Trent Jr. with the number 37 overall pick in the draft and within five minutes traded him to Portland for two future second-round draft selections.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! SacKings will pick second in NBA Draft

Photo: @NBADraftLottery

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The NBA Draft Lottery order was selected in Chicago on Tuesday night, and the big winners of the night were the Sacramento Kings. The Kings entered the evening slotted to pick seventh on draft night in June. The Kings finished the season tied with the Chicago Bulls but lost a coin toss so the Bulls owned the sixth selection pre-lottery draw.


The Kings had just an 18.3-percent chance of winding up in the Top-3 in the Draft Lottery. Those odds may have been helped a little because the team was represented by first-year point guard De’Aaron Fox who has been a positive force for Sacramento ever since his arrival in June of 2017 from the University of Kentucky.

The Kings moved into the Top-3 in the 2017 Draft Lottery back fell back to the number five pick because Philadelphia had the right to swap selections if the Sacramento pick was higher than the Sixers. With the number five selection, the Kings took De’Aaron Fox.

This good fortune becomes even more important because the Kings will not have a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The 2019 first-round selection was dealt away early in the tenure of Vlade Divac’s administration of basketball operations. This makes the 2018 draft selection even more important than it would normally be because it has to count for two seasons.

Who will be the number two draft pick?

Photo: @LukaDoncic

Virtually every mock draft site has Luka Doncic going as the number two selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. He is an international player currently playing with Real Madrid of Spain originally from Slovenia. Doncic is a 6-foot-7 small forward/shooting guard who is capable of playing positionless basketball that has become so popular in the NBA today.

Doncic is just 19-years old and definitely plays older than his years. He is an outstanding assists player who also is a strong rebounder on offense and defense. Doncic is an above average scorer and shooter at the free throw line. He needs work on his three-point shooting percentage and his number of turnovers needs to be lower.

The Kings front office has two prominent members – Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic – who are Eastern Europeans and should be able to make Doncic feel comfortable in Sacramento. One of the Kings up and coming stars is former Euro star – Bogdan Bogdanovic –  who certainly understands the style of basketball Doncic has been playing and could help make the transition to the NBA.

It looks like a match made in heaven right? Well, wait just one minute. The Phoenix Suns believe that Doncic can play point guard in the NBA. That’s right. They think this 6-foot-7 budding superstar can play point guard in “the association” alongside their star shooting guard Devin Booker. If the Suns believe Doncic can play that role, he could become the number one pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

If Doncic goes number one, who goes number two?


That would leave DeAndre Ayton from Arizona available for the number two pick. Ayton is a 7-foot-1, 250-pound center who has an NBA body. He scores in multiple ways and has even been developing a three-point shot. Ayton runs the floor well and is not afraid of contact. He has great hands and good footwork.

His weakness is his defense. Ayton tends to get caught flat-footed too many times. He needs to do a better job defending against the pick and roll – a staple of the NBA. He needs to be more consistent about contesting shots.

Ayton is going to be a star in the NBA.

The Suns are going to be under immense pressure to draft the Arizona product and keep him in Phoenix. However, the Suns may opt to pass and go with Doncic who may pay off with more long-term results for them.

Either way, the Kings cannot go wrong. They are going to be able to draft a player who is going to become a star in the NBA.

As Kings players cleaned out their lockers, Divac and Joerger reviewed the year

Willie jam
Willie Cauley-Stein led the Kings to a “W” in game 82 on Wednesday night Photo: @SacramentoKings

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Vlade Divac and Dave Joerger met with the press to review the Kings 2017-18 “Year of Development” on Thursday. Despite winning fewer games this season both the GM and Coach were pretty optimistic about the Kings future.

There were times early on in the season where the look on Dave Joerger’s face said: “I’m not having a good time.” As the season progressed and his players improved, Joerger began to enjoy his time on the sideline.

What every Kings fan wants to hear is that their favorite team will be in the playoffs next year. Well, hold there partner. Divac expects the Kings to be improved but stopped short of saying they would be playoff bound.

Dave Joerger is hoping that most of his young players will spend most of the off-season in the Sacramento area working out and getting know each other even better. He really wants them to feel and think like family.

Kings Press Row Podcast Week 7 in the NBA

press row podcast

hosts Charlie O Mallonee & Jordan Chapin

  • Week 7 in the NBA brings some interesting match ups for us to watch on NBA TV

  • The Kings send three players to Reno to get some playing time

  • SAC wins 2 and loses 2 in week 7

  • Week 8 brings a brutal 4 game trip to the schedule for the Kings

  • Charlie O and the Chap break it all down for you

Z-Bo arrested – Did the Kings plan for veteran leadership just go up in smoke?

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Z-bo Police car damage
Photo from

NBA veteran and now a member of the Sacramento Kings Zach Randolph was arrested in the Watts area of Los Angeles on Wednesday night on suspicion of marijuana possession and intent to sell. He was one of three men arrested by LAPD. One individual was arrested for being an ex-convict in possession of a gun.

What’s the big deal — isn’t weed about to be legal in California

cali sign

The big deal is the amount of marijuana that was seized in the arrest. According to TMZ Sports, two pounds of marijuana was taken into custody during the bust by Los Angeles Police. You read that amount correctly — two pounds. That is just a “tad” above the amount that is considered to be for personal consumption.

Randolph has earned an estimated $175-180 million in salary alone in his 16-years in the NBA. One would not think he would need to be selling “weed” to in order pay his bills. The problem is being associated with a large amount of marijuana that is considered beyond what would be normal for personal consumption places a person in the potential sales and distribution business. Even if the individual were giving the product away for free, that act could be deemed illegal.

The whole scene got out of control

According to reports, when LAPD rolled up on the scene a pursuit began for three adult males. That pursuit involved the entry into a home in the area. When the three suspects (one of which was Randolph) were brought out of the house, the crowd that gathered in the area turned ugly.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, a dispersal order was issued by law enforcement. The crowd then began throwing rocks and bottles at police. They also proceeded to damage several police vehicles.

Fortunately no one in the crowd or any officers were injured in what had to be a very tense situation.

Welcome to the LA County Jail


Randolph was booked into the LA County Jail. He was released on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. on $20,000 bail.

“The charges are false and misleading,” Randolph’s agent and attorney Raymond Brothers told The Associated Press. “We’re looking at all options to resolve this matter.”

He has been arrested not convicted


It is really important that fans remember that Randolph has been charged with crimes not convicted. Because he is such a high profile person, there is a tendency to assume guilt rather than wait for the trail process to play itself out.

Does the situation look bad? It looks horrible, but that still does not mean Randolph is guilty. He deserves his day in court.

What about his future with the Kings and the NBA?

z-bo headshot
Zach Randolph Photo:

The Kings have acknowledged that they are aware of the situation but the team is withholding any statement at this time which is not surprising.

If Randolph is found guilty of involvement with marijuana, he would also face sanctions from the NBA for violating the league policy on drug use.

The Kings have to make some big decisions in a short period of time

Vlade Divac Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Kings signed Randolph — a 16-year NBA veteran — to be a mentor “on toughness” for their young players. The question the Kings must answer quickly is whether they still want Randolph to mentor their four rookies, three second-year players and other young members of their team.

This not a situation that vice president and general manager Vlade Divac and head coach Dave Joerger were planning on having to deal with as they prepare for the upcoming season.

Photo of Randolph leaving jail taken from TMZ Sports video

Kings: Big changes in the front office as Scott Perry joins the Knicks as GM

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Scott Perry NYK Gen Mgr. Photo

Just as everything appeared to be on the way to stability for the Sacramento Kings — BAM! — big changes have been announced in the front office operations for the team. Executive vice-president for basketball operations Scott Perry has been hired by the New York Knicks to be their new general manager. Reports have Perry receiving a five-year contract.

Perry joined the Kings front office on April 21. The Kings could have told Perry no because he was under contract and told the Knicks to go look elsewhere for a new GM. The fact the team did not block Perry from interviewing for the NYK job says a great deal about the organization’s respect for him as a person and as an executive.

There are some that are questioning the Kings decision to let Perry walk away from the team including two NBA executives that were quoted in the New York Post on Friday:

“It’s a little strange, getting fired in Orlando, then going to Sacramento and they’re willing to let him go so soon after a few months,’’ an NBA executive said.

The SacKings front office was the target of criticism

vlade and peja
Divac and Stojakovic

In 2016, the Kings could not get top lottery picks to come to Sacramento for tryouts and interviews. Agents viewed the organization as being in disarray and it was almost like if they avoided Sacramento their clients would not be drafted by the Kings.

There were also rumors that NBA executives were frustrated because they could not get call through or calls back from Kings executives in the front office. The lack of a traditional front office structure appeared to hurting the Kings ability to get things done operationally.

Sacramento had also been criticized for having the smallest scouting staff in the NBA. Experts felt the Kings needed to see more college talent to be successful in the draft.

Perry received much of the credit for the Kings draft and free agent signing success

perry 2

Analyst have given the Kings very positive reviews for the job they did in the 2017 draft. Virtually everyone loves the selection of point guard De’Aaron Fox out of Kentucky with the number five overall pick. Most experts approve of the team taking SF Justin Jackson (North Carolina), PF Harry Giles (Duke) and PG Frank Mason III (Kansas) in the draft with their other picks. Some have said Mason might be one of the “value picks of the draft”.

“One of the top evaluators of talent in the NBA,” said one NBA executive who has worked with Perry. “The evidence is Sacramento’s free agency this year.” New York Post July 14, 2017

Sacramento then went to work signing three veteran free agents to play for a team stacked with young players. George Hill gives the Kings a veteran at point guard while Fox and Mason develop their skills at the NBA level. Zach Randolph and Vince Carter who played for Dave Joerger in Memphis were signed to play and mentor.


Scott’s leadership was credited as being a major factor in why the Kings were able to pull things together so well in the all-important player acquisition period. The addition of analytics expert Luke Bornn along with the added experience of another year of working together for Vlade Divac and his staff also added to the success of draft and free agent signing period.

Perry is going to be trying to revive a franchise that is in shambles


One the major problems the New York Knicks have to overcome is their owner. James Dolan who has a history of making questionable decisions when it comes to his NBA team. On draft night in June, he was in Manhattan playing with his blues-rock band while Phil Jackson and his staff made the choices on who the future players for the Knicks would be.

James Dolan NBA owner or rock star?

Of course just days later, Dolan and Jackson parted ways in a very public break up. If Dolan was planning on replacing Jackson, why did he wait until after the draft? The bottom line is that it is just another in a long line of bad decisions made by Dolan when it comes to his NBA franchise.

Knick, Cavalier, Rocket?

The other major problem that Perry faces in his first days with the Knicks is what to do with Carmelo. Anthony has been making noises about being willing to accept a trade to another team like Houston or Cleveland. His salary and what the Knicks will want in return pose a real problem for the team to actually move Carmelo out and really begin a true rebuilding process.

Perry will work for the Knicks former general manager Steve Mills who will now be the team’s president.

Kings get cash and a future second-round draft pick but what about “Hamilton” tickets?


The Kings will receive an undisclosed amount of cash and a future second-round draft pick as compensation for releasing Perry to sign with the Knicks. Cash? Overrated. Second-drafts picks can be helpful in closing trades.

But Vivek and Vlade, what everyone wants is tickets to “Hamilton” on Broadway. Think about the promotion your marketing team could have put together with a block of “Hamilton” tickets for the week the Kings play the Knicks and Nets in New York. Broadway and Basketball: it would have been a spectacular promotion.

If you do anymore deals with the Knicks or Nets, they must include tickets to “Hamilton”.