George Karl will remain the head coach of the Sacramento Kings for the foreseeable future.
"George is our coach and we're collectively working through our issues," Kings GM Vlade Divac told CSNCalifornia.com on Tuesday morning.
Karl spoke with Divac on Tuesday morning. In a productive conversation between the two, the focus was on the Kings' 3-point and transition defense, as well as their lack of defensive intensity in general.
Although Karl isn't getting fired right now, no guarantees have been made.
A little over two weeks ago, the Kings were the talk of the NBA when they climbed into the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings. And then the death spiral began.
Rumors began swirling on Friday evening that Karl would be relieved of his duties following the Kings 128-119 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Those rumors grew to a fever pitch over the weekend, with most reports pointing to Karl’s imminent dismissal.
Karl was not Divac’s hire, but the charismatic 7-footer has continued to try and make it work. He and Karl have their differences. Every coach and GM do. But the first-year executive also understands the value of Karl’s experience and the need for continuity. He worked hard to play peacemaker between Karl and Cousins during the summer and into the early season.
Playing a factor into the decision is the fact that the Kings owe Karl the remainder of his $3.25 million for this season, plus an additional $5 million the next two seasons, although there is a $1.5 million buyout for the 2017-18 season.
Another switch up would also give the Kings their ninth coach since Rick Adelman left the team following the 2005-06 season.
The Kings began the month of January with an 8-3 record, but they have gone just 1-8 since. While they continue to lead the league in pace and boast a highflying offense, the team has struggled at the defensive end, yielding 118.1 points per game over their last nine contests.
Karl brings 1,163 career victories to the table, good enough for fifth all-time. But his stint in Sacramento has produced just a 32-50 record.