George Karl was introduced as the Kings' head coach on Tuesday.
The man who has won 1,131 regular season games had a lot to say...
1) Karl is simply a coach
“If you can live without coaching, don’t coach,” Bear Bryant, former Alabama football coach once said.
Karl clearly can’t live without it.
Key words “gym,” “practice,” “spirits” - coaching is clearly in Karl’s blood as he leaves behind life as an analyst to be back in the hot seat.
“Just the challenge of getting on that court and practicing tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon is something that I think is time to do,” Karl said Tuesday.
"It’s time to be back. It’s time to get to feeling the crazy spirits that go on in a basketball coach’s life.”
2) Karl is a tinkerer
You don’t become the sixth wininngest coach in NBA history without being innovative.
Karl will start with marquee player and first time All-Star, DeMarcus Cousins.
“Everyone’s hung up on DeMarcus (Cousins) as a big man,” Karl said. “He plays basketball very well and he can play a lot of different ways. He can play a lot of places. I don’t want to offend anybody on the team but from what I see, he may be our best passer.
“Most talented big guy I’ve ever coached. . . try to figure out ways to use him and motivate and get him at a higher level than he even is now,” Karl added on Cousins.
3) Karl likes Sacramento
Kings fans wanted Karl and Karl wanted the job.
Let the honeymoon begin.
“I’ve always thought Sacramento is a great small market team in the NBA,” Karl commented.
"Most of my career I’ve played in small markets. I feel comfortable in small markets. It seems to be my type of energy. . . there’s an energy to the city that’s contagious.”
4) Karl on Sleep Train Arena
Karl recalled the playoff games in 1996 in Sacramento on the way to taking Seattle to the NBA finals as the “most miserable” of his career.
Karl is now eager to leverage the feral fan base of the Kings.
“I think the one challenge that I have this year is to get the fans supportive that we’re going to be a good team and I think we can get that done this year,” Karl acknowledged.
“The fans making it a tough building, making it an intense building, making it an energized building, helps young players. It helps players get confidence. It helps coaches feel confident.”
“On good teams, you’ve got to win 30 of your 41 home games,” Karl expressed.
5) Karl on the problem
Karl knows repairing the Kings (18-34) won’t be easy over the next 30 games.
“What I see when I see Sacramento play in the last couple games, couple weeks, is they’ve lost a connection,” Karl said.
“They’ve lost a connection with each other and a little bit of connection of confidence. Re-fixing and getting it re-directed is a challenge but I think it’s something that can be done.”
6) Karl on the solution
Karl believes Sacramento can win like the Kings did earlier in the season.
“I think there’s enough talent on this team to win games,” Karl said. “There’s enough talent on this team to come back and connect with one another in a way that you can be be a solid to good basketball team night in and night out for the remainder of the season.
“I think the commitment of the players to take these next 30 games and wash away, what I call ‘the basketball hell’ that they’ve been living in for two months . . . my need is to take what we have and magnify it and reconnect it and re-energize it in a positive way.”
For Karl, there is only one way to figure things out even if it’s difficult to practice due to the frenetic NBA schedule.
“I really like the gym & we need to be in the gym . . . even just for 45 minutes,” Karl said.
“I need to know the answers,” Karl said in tinkerer mode. “I need the court. I have my theories but they’re not proven.”