Sports

Stretching the Field: A King is crowned in Karl

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Sacramento Kings got something right for once.

Lately loaded with talent and nobody to look toward for direction, the Kings made waves in the coaching pool by reaching an agreement in principle with George Karl.

So now Karl has to do his best Edward James Olmos impression from the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver" and try to reach his new players. More than 1,000 victories as an NBA head coach should provoke a few to take off their Beats By Dre headphones and listen.

Olmos could do multiplication with his fingers. Karl has multiple minds to buy into his philosophy and multiple zeros in his new deal, which is reportedly worth more than $4 million per year over four years.

Karl will become the third coach for the Kings this season and is expected to take over after the All-Star break. Mike Malone began the season on the bench, but was fired in December after an 11-13 start. Tyrone Corbin was named interim coach and guided Sacramento to a mark of 7-21 after Wednesday's 111-103 loss to Milwaukee.

Corbin lost his job Thursday.

"I have the utmost respect for Tyrone as a coach and person," Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro said in a statement. "He's a man of great integrity, a consummate professional that managed a difficult situation with class and professionalism. I look forward to continuing to work with Tyrone moving forward."

The rumors for a new coaching search began to weigh on Kings tempestuous superstar DeMarcus Cousins.

"We have to come in every day, block out the outside distractions and do our job. Be professional basketball players," Cousins said days ago.

Cousins denied he had any involvement in the coaching search and said he wasn't consulted on the move to fire Malone and hand Corbin the reigns. He went as far as to say Karl is an "experienced, proven coach" and would support the decision. Cousins felt it wasn't fair to speculate with Corbin in place.

All that is water under the bridge now.

The Big Cuz is one Karl MUST reach in order for this plan to work. The Kings have a strong nucleus in Cousins, Rudy Gay, Darren Collison and manageable role players in Ben McLemore, Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas and Derrick Williams. The Kings should get a decent pick in the draft and could make moves via free agency

Karl is no stranger in making the most of what he's given.

Known for transforming losing teams in other stops, Karl could be the one this franchise has been looking for after Rick Adelman's tenure came to a halt almost 10 years ago. Karl isn't used to losing in his journey through the NBA and faces possibly his most daunting task.

The Kings made the playoffs every year from 1998-99 to 2005-06, and haven't been back since. The Maloof family, who had controlling ownership of the Kings since 1999, exhausted all measures to bring a winner to Sacramento, and its deep pockets were worn out on failed coaches in Eric Musselman (33-49), Reggie Theus (44-62), Kenny Natt (11-47), Paul Westphal (51-120), Keith Smart (48-93), Malone (39-67) and Corbin (7-21).

Not one of those coaches, even Adelman, can hold a candle to Karl.

In 1,887 games, he owns a record of 1,131-756 during the regular season. He is just 80-105 in the playoffs with 14 first-round exits in 22 appearances, and made his lone trip to the NBA Finals with Seattle in the spring of 1996.

The Kings and their fans are hoping the postseason famine turns into a feast when Karl officially takes over. That will come soon. Karl last coached in 2012-13 with the Denver Nuggets and had been serving as an analyst for ESPN. His last Denver team was 57-25, earning him NBA Coach of the Year honors.

Karl, who began his long coaching career in 1984-85 with Cleveland and also has been at the helm for Golden State, Seattle and Milwaukee, is the sixth- winningest coach in history with more regular-season victories than the Kings have had during the Sacramento era.

Sacramento started the season 5-1 and later pushed the mark to 9-5. It's been a different story since as evidenced by a 9-29 record.

This season is a wash for the Kings, but they have the right man for the job moving forward. Karl's desperate to win an NBA title, which would be the icing on the cake of what has been a Hall of Fame career.