Updated 4:36 p.m.
The Sacramento Kings had their best record in 13 years, but it wasn’t enough to save Dave Joerger’s job. The head coach was fired Thursday by General Manager Vlade Divac.
Kings GM Vlade Divac says Joerger did a good job of helping a young team improve on the season before, but the improvement wasn't enough.
"It's been three years that we made the progress. But, you know, this year, I know you guys and I feel the same way, it was a good season, but I think we could do more, especially after All Star [game]," Divac said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
The Kings won 39 games this season, after going just 59-105 in Joerger’s first two seasons.The official announcement came less than two hours after Divac’s contract was extended by owners through the 2022-23 season.
"I think the decision that they made today to give me the extension shows they believe in what I am doing and moving forward it was all about my decisions,” Divac said.
Divac said no decision had be made regarding the employment situations of the assistant coaches.
The Kings were in playoff contention for most of this season, but then fell flat and lost 17 of their last 26 — and sometimes in spectacular fashion: They blew a 28-point lead against the Brooklyn Nets last month and lost, and they had a 28-point lead against the Portland Trailblazers in the season finale and lost.
He also fired Assistant General Manager Brandon Williams, who was hired in 2017 to help with contracts, free agency and salary cap issues.
Divac said on Thursday that he did not have any coaches in mind to fill the vacancy and that Williams duties would be absorbed by vice presidents Peja Stojakovics and Ken Catanells.
Divac’s drafts have netted the team De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Harry Giles, who appear to be the nucleus for the team going forward.