The Sacramento Kings are close to hiring George Karl to become the team’s new head coach. Reports say Karl would sign a four-year deal, worth between $4 and $5 million, and would takeover the team after the All-Star break.
The 63-year-old Karl last coached in 2013 with the Denver Nuggets, when he won the Coach of the Year award before getting fired after the playoffs. In Karl’s 25 years as a head coach, his teams have missed the postseason only three times — all three in his first four years in that role. Karl’s up-tempo style would bring a needed change of pace for the Kings, who haven’t played in the playoffs since 2006.
If the hiring becomes official, Karl will coach a team headlined by All-Star forward DeMarcus Cousins. The 24-year-old Cousins, who’s averaging 23.9 points and 12.4 rebounds per game, has been playing on another level this season despite instability in the coaching position. Although he’s admitted he enjoyed playing for Michael Malone and didn’t want to see him get fired earlier this season, Cousins told reporters Tuesday that he’d support the hiring of Karl.
Dominant big men Shawn Kemp and Glenn Robinson both experienced great success under Karl’s coaching, with Kemp making the All-Star game every full season he played for Karl and Robinson playing his lone two appearances under Karl.