The Sacramento Kings decided to fire their head coach Luke Walton. The franchise officially announced the move on Sunday. The Kings also confirmed that associate head coach Alvin Gentry will take over the team on an interim basis. Gentry joined the Kings organization in 2020 after parting ways with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Walton is out after the Kings struggled so far in 2021-22 despite having high hopes ahead of the season. The team lost seven out of their last eight games and currently owns a 6-11 record. That was enough for the No. 12 in the Western Conference.
Speaking about the decision, general manager Monte McNair said that Walton is not the only one to blame for the Kings’ poor performances.
“We all know all of us have to be better, especially over the last two weeks,” McNair said via ESPN. “We’re not meeting expectations. That’s not just on Luke. That’s on me, the rest of our coaches, and players. Everyone acknowledges that.”
Reportedly, Gentry is expected to stay at the helm at least until the end of 2021-22. Based on the results, the team will then decide in the offseason whether to remove the interim tag or embark on a search for a new head coach.
“I think we have the talent,” McNair added. “We’ve shown that we can do that. We’re going to get back to that, and Alvin will be the guy to lead us there.”
Luke Walton was hired as Sacramento’s head coach ahead of the 2019–20 season following a three-year stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. Walton compiled a 68-93 record during his time with the Kings while the team missed the playoffs in both of his two full seasons in charge.