The Sacramento Kings officially introduced their third head coach of the season today. George Karl is the sixth-winningest NBA coach of all time.
George Karl has won 1,131 regular-season games, or nearly 60 percent, as an NBA head coach. He says his first priority for a team that has lost 75 percent of its games in the last two months is to foster a culture of trust.
"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."
The news conference started with a mea culpa from Kings General Manager Pete D'Alessandro. He fired former head coach Michael Malone two months ago and named assistant Ty Corbin as the Interim Head Coach.
"I think I put Ty in a nearly impossible situation. I can't thank Ty enough."
D'Alessandro emphasized it was his decision -and not majority owner Vivek Ranadive's- to make both moves.
The G.M. won't say when he realized Karl was his choice to lead the team, but he does say he decided to pursue Karl now rather than wait until the end of the season.
"You always have to be honest with yourself. I mean, when it's hard for me to sit out there and watch a game? I'm not paying to watch a game, you know. And so, the fans had to go through some tough stuff. And again, whenever I say that, I have to turn back to Ty. Because I honestly think he was in an impossible spot."
Karl says Kings players can expect to be on the practice floor a lot in the season's remaining two months.
"The game, when it's played well and it's played together is fairly simple. Pass the ball to the open man, get open, create the game from a defensive-end standpoint, be fundamentally sound, don't beat yourself, and trust and belief in each other is important."
The new coach says All-star center Demarcus Cousins is the "best player on the team" and that "it's nice" to have a seven-footer with his skills.
Karl says he doesn't foresee any changes to the assistant coaching staff now. But he does say he will likely make some changes in the off-season.
His first game as head coach will be Friday against the visiting Boston Celtics.