ESPN put out the news on Sunday that coach of the Sacramento Kings, Luke Walton, has been released from his contract with the team. According to ESPN sources, Walton was fired following the poor performance of the Sacramento team.
The team under Walton has suffered 41 losses in his first two seasons, with only 31 wins to their name. The present season hasn’t seen the team improve and the decision to let go of Walton was preceded by a 123-105 home loss to Utah. The Sacramento Kings have lost 7 of their last 8 games and are currently sitting at 12th place in their league.
Adding salt to the wound of the losses, most of their triumphant competitors have not been excelling in their own right. The Kings saw defeat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Minnesota Timberwolves, all of which the Kings should have handily beaten on paper.
Walton had a decade-long career as a player in the NBA before becoming a coach. He began his coaching career with the Golden State Warriors before eventually joining the Los Angeles Lakers, where he was also let go following a poor season overseeing the team. Under his tutelage, the Lakers had a historic rate of 45 losses to 37 wins as well as failing to qualify for the playoffs.
Reportedly he will be replaced in the interim by Alvin Gentry. Gentry has a long and storied career in coaching for the NBA, holding the position of head coach on 5 separate occasions.
While hopes are high that Gentry will be able to restore the reputation of the team, the reality is that the team still has some major obstacles to overcome. Included in this list is their woeful defensive side, ranking 26th in the Association for defensive efficiency.