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Lacking On Defense, Sacramento Kings Fire Offensive Assistant

Sacramento Kings / Courtesy

Vance Walberg's tenure as assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings lasted 360 days.

Sacramento Kings / Courtesy

The Sacramento Kings are nine games under .500 and had lost eight-of-ten games going into the All-Star break.

While many fans had been curious which players would be headed to other teams via trades, the Kings instead have announced a change to its coaching staff.

Assistant coach Vance Walberg has been fired, according to a statement by Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Vlade Divac.

“This was a tough decision made after consideration of what is best for the team moving forward,” Divac said. “We want to thank Vance for his contributions to the organization and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”   

Head coach George Karl told the Sacramento Bee he was "disappointed and confused" by the firing. Karl also said he should be blamed for the team's defensive woes, not Walberg -who was tasked with improving the offense.

The Kings are scoring the third-most points-per-game in the NBA, have the fifth-highest field-goal percentage and the fourth-most assists.

But they also lead the league in points allowed.  

The Kings are 10th in the NBA's Western Conference with a record of 22-31. They are 4.5 games out of a playoff spot.

Walberg had been with the Philadelphia 76ers for two years, prior to being hired by the Kings last February 23.

Before his time with the 76ers, Walberg was one of Karl's  assistants when Karl was head coach of the Denver Nuggets.

On the Sacramento Kings website, a biography of Walberg says he is "known for his innovative offensive ideas and credited with developing the dribble drive motion offense—implemented by John Calipari at the University of Memphis and later Kentucky."

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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