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Kings failed Karl, Karl did not fail the Kings

George Karl was in an impossible situation to succeed in, in Sacramento.

George Karl was in an impossible situation to succeed in, in Sacramento.

One calendar year — that is all it looks like George Karl is getting with the Sacramento Kings as they are reportedly set to fire him just before the All-Star break and have assistant coach Corliss Williamson take over as interim head coach. It was clear from the very beginning that Karl was not going to succeed in the most dysfunctional franchise in the NBA. He was not the problem. The Kings were the problem.

Karl barely made it to the season opener after a public blowout with the team’s star center DeMarcus Cousins. Considering that the team brought Karl in to change the culture of the Kings to a winning one, but then the organization sided with their player who has never been a part of a winning NBA team, there was no way Karl’s time in Sacramento would be anything but what it has become.

The Kings failed George Karl. George Karl did not fail the Kings.

How was this guy able to put together a winning team with players who have never won not wanting to change? The only player who seemed to back Karl was Rajon Rondo, who was brought in because he was a proven winner with the Celtics, but he was not enough.

In mid to late January with the Kings winning five-straight games, it looked like the Kings turned the corner, but eight losses in nine games, including their most recent 120-100 loss at Cleveland on Monday the Kings have fallen apart and out of playoff contention. Since then, Karl has been criticized for his lack of defensive adjustments and decision to make shootarounds optional.

Even Rondo criticized that decision, asking how a team could win when only three of four guys shot up to a Monday shootaround. But when players don’t respect the coach and the ownership sides with the players, a coach cannot simply be more strict to try to gain their support.

Karl was brought in because of his winning history, but the Kings history of calamity overpowered it.

As long as Vivek Ranadive wants to run the Kings like he ran his daughter's youth basketball team there will be problems.

As long as Vivek Ranadive wants to run the Kings like he ran his daughter’s youth basketball team there will be problems.

Vivek Ranadive has been a worse owner than the Maloof’s before him. He’s been so bad minority owners have considered getting together to take the team away from him. Assuming Karl actually is fired and Williamson takes over, he will be the fourth coach since the start of the 2013 season. Ranadive, who regularly brings up his life-time achievement of leading his daughter’s youth basketball team to a national championship, seems to want to run the entire show rather than be an owner.

He fired Michael Malone, the only coach who has ever gotten along with Cousins, because he was not running and fast enough offense. He then wanted his team to play 4 vs 5 defense with a big man standing underneath the basket on the other end of the court. He put together an analytic competition to the general public to find somebody who would help the front office during the 2014 draft. The college student who won helped lead to the team drafting Nik Stauskas with the eighth overall pick and he was given away to the 76ers a year later after a horrible rookie season. Analytics didn’t necessarily show that Stauskas was a slow mover with poor ball-handing and was only an out-side shooter. The team desperately needed a point guard that year and passed on Elfrid Payton.

Vlade Divac is a but name and former Kings star, but was hired as general manager of the Kings and did nothing to stop the firings or bad draft picks.

As long as those problems remain in Sacramento, it does not matter who they bring in to coach, the team is going to continue to fail. Karl learned it the hard way and might even rejoice his time with the Kings is coming to an end.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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