The Sacramento Kings will not retain George Karl as head coach, the team announced Thursday.
The Sacramento Bee initially reported Wednesday that Karl was expected to be fired.
“After evaluating the team’s performance this season, I determined it was necessary to move forward with a new voice from the head coaching position,” general manager Vlade Divac said. “I have a great deal of respect and admiration for George and his accomplishments throughout his nearly 30 years in the NBA. On behalf of everyone in the Kings organization, I thank him for the contributions made during his time in Sacramento and wish him good fortune in the future.”
Karl also commented on the decision on Thursday.
“While I would have loved to continue on this journey, I am very proud of our work and I want to thank Kings management for the opportunity to have coached this exciting team with such a bright future,” Karl said. “It’s my heartfelt feeling that the magnificent new arena will be hosting many Playoff runs and an eventual Championship, which the Sacramento fans, some of the most loyal and supportive people I've ever known in my many years in the NBA, very much deserve. With a profound humility, moving forward, I wish nothing but the best for this franchise and its players.”
Karl took over the Kings’ coaching job from Tyrone Corbin last February, finishing last season with an 11–19 record. Sacramento fell 116–81 to the Rockets on Wednesday. The team missed the playoffs for the 10th straight year.
Karl has been the subject of numerous firing rumors since he took over for Corbin, as he often clashed with team star DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento didn’t live up to its front office’s expectations after a busy off-season which saw the additions of Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli and Kosta Koufos.
Karl is the fifth-winningest coach in NBA history. He has a career record of 1,175-824 across stints with the Cavaliers, Warriors, Sonics, Bucks and Nuggets.
Sacramento’s next head coach will be their ninth since the 2006–07 season, the most in the NBA in that timeframe.