There’s the proper way to do things, and then there’s what the Kings continue to do — even under new ownership. After firing coach Mike Malone in a stunning move earlier this month, the Kings promoted assistant Tyrone Corbin to head coach on an interim basis. Last week management locked him in for the remainder of the year, which was news to star DeMarcus Cousins, who found out about it late Monday night.
Before Corbin confirmed he had been inked for the rest of the year, the Kings were thought to be looking at potential candidates from outside the organization. George Karl, Mark Jackson — who is a St. Johns alum like GM Pete D’Alessandro and special advisor to the owner, Chris Mullin — and, gasp, the wind-swept pompadour of Vinny Del Negro were all batted around as potential replacements until Corbin was given the go.
We’re guessing none of the players on the Kings were consulted about those choices, either, but at least Sacramento trotted out Boogie for a meeting with Jackson, D’Alessandro and Mullin on December 16, the day after Corbin’s first game as coach. That’s playing it fast and loose, and it’s an odd move when you consider Sacramento did NOT inform their franchise player once they had decided to stick with Corbin for the rest of the season.
That management had made the commitment to Corbin was news to his players.
“I didn’t know,” Cousins said. “I didn’t know officially until (Monday) night, either. That’s when a lot of us found out.”
The Kings have lost eight of their last 10, and they’ve looked defensively inept since Malone’s termination. Cousins, who we’re loving this year on and off the court, hasn’t been happy since Malone was let go:
But Boogie put the onus on the players to win, and not on whomever stalks the sidelines:
“Honestly, at the end of the day, it’s on us no matter who the head guy is on the bench,” Cousins said. “At the end of the day, we go out there and play the games. It’s time for us to stop looking for excuses, stop trying to make excuses. We’ve got to man up and play basketball.
“We know what we need to do on a nightly basis. We know we need to defend and we know we need to share the ball and come out and play hard. I believe with those three things that 70 percent of the job is done. It doesn’t matter, we’ve got to go out and do our jobs.”
After the Maloof brothers were paid off for their ineptitude, and Vivek Ranadive was brought in as a tech-saavy savior, it seemed like the Kings were due for a turnaround. Cousins’ play in the opening weeks and a surprising 5-1 start only fostered more positive vibes, but the mood quickly soured.
Boogie got sick, the Kings naturally started to lose, and Malone was let go — while we all found out he was actually on the chopping block anyway because he wasn’t playing the owner’s preferred form of a speed-it-up offense; thereby negating the best back-to-the-basket big man in the whole Association. Then, the team considered other coaches to replace Malone before deciding to stick with Corbin for the rest of the season; except, they didn’t tell their star player.
We’re beginning to think the entrance to Sleep Train Arena reads: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
Who will eventually coach the Kings?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.