The Sacramento Kings are set to begin another coaching search with head coach Luke Walton headed towards the door after another disappointing start for the franchise. In a tradition that has become all too familiar for fans, we’ll examine some Kings coaching candidates who could be on Sacramento’s radar.
While the organization has many issues, including at the ownership level, they have had some success finding coaches. Sacramento hired Michael Mallone before the 2013-’14 NBA season and he really started to make an impact in his second season. But one of the best coaches in the NBA was fired In December 2014, despite the team showing plenty of promise.
Replaced by Dave Joerger, who became available due to clashes with the Memphis Grizzlies organization, Sacramento posted a 39-43 record in the 2018-’19 season. It was the franchise’s highest win total since 2005-’06, but general manager Vlade Divac fired Joerger and almost immediately hired Walton without conducting a thorough coaching search.
- Luke Walton record (Sacramento Kings): 68-93
The Kings went 31-31 in their first season under Walton’s leadership. After the franchise hired general manager Monte McNair, he decided to give Walton another year. Sacramento finished with its second consecutive 31-41 season, but Walton was brought back for another go-around.
But it quickly became evident that his time was running out. He narrowly avoided being fired this past week, with a win over the Detroit Pistons sparing him. But the team is riding another skid and Walton’s last chance is gone.
Let’s take a look at some potential Sacramento Kings coaching candidates.
Kenny Atkinson, Golden State Warriors assistant coach
Kenny Atkinson should be the favorite to replace Walton as the Sacramento Kings head coach. Fired by the Brooklyn Nets in March 2020, there is plenty of dispute regarding whether or not Kyrie Irving played a role in the exit. But one thing that is known, Atkinson is fantastic at helping NBA players develop.