The Sacramento Kings got off to a solid start to the season, but the wheels quickly fell off and they now find themselves at 6-11 after losing seven of their last eight contests. Most recently, the Kings lost to the Utah Jazz in a game where a fan literally puked on the court, halting play for 15 minutes as the arena crew cleaned up and offering a heavy-handed, but on the nose, metaphor for Kings basketball this season.
On Sunday, 12 hours after that loss, head coach Luke Walton was relieved of his duties as head coach, as reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Alvin Gentry will take over the team on an interim basis.
Kings associate head coach Alvin Gentry – a five-time head coach in the NBA – is expected get strong consideration to serve as interim head coach. Walton was 68-93 in two-plus seasons as Kings coach. https://t.co/jeZIFqmVCd
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2021
It’s not a surprising outcome, given there were rumblings a week ago that Walton was back on the hot seat amid a losing streak and, this year, there wouldn’t be any slack given to him to try and work through long droughts like a season ago when he survived not one but two separate nine game losing streaks. Walton exits Sacramento with a 68-93 record as head coach, never getting the Kings back on track enough to reach the playoffs, which has been the stated goal of this season.
The Kings will now hope Gentry can bring a fresh perspective to the top seat on the bench and get a Kings team that has talent but struggles to put it all together to become something approaching a consistent, cohesive unit.
UPDATE: The team made the news official on Sunday afternoon, with Gentry indeed being elevated to the interim role despite a brief internal debate that was reported between he and Doug Christie.