Interim coach Alvin Gentry said the Kings don’t intend to change everything they’ve been doing despite the recent struggles.
“This is not about making mass changes or changing philosophies or anything like this,” Gentry told reporters. “I think we’ve got a good system in place. So I think what we have to do is we have to have our players perform better. I’ve got to be better. All the other coaches have to be better, and our players have to be better. I think it’s a group thing.”
Gentry replaced Luke Walton, fired over the weekend. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Gentry attempted to have the “interim” tag before his name removed. But the fact that assistant and former Kings guard Doug Christie is also on the staff gave the front office some leverage.
Basically, Christie was in line for the interim job if Gentry didn’t take it as it was offered.
Gentry, 67, clearly has a major advantage in experience, having coached the Pelicans, Suns, Clippers and Heat previously. He owns a 510-596 record in 16 seasons overall. That includes 0-1 with the Kings, who lost his debut at home to the 76ers on Monday night.
Gentry was critical of the players and laid down the law after the loss.
“We’ve got to find the combination of guys that are going to play. Don’t really care what the hell the back of the jersey says, we’re going to play the guys that are going to play hard and do what we try to ask them to do,” he said. “If you don’t want to run and you don’t want to get out and play in the open court, then we’ve got to find somebody that will.”
Either way, the Kings are now on their sixth coach in eight years, even parting ways with Michael Malone, now having success with the Nuggets. So some of their problems fall on the front office, or more specifically, team owner Vivek Ranadive.
“For all of the mounting criticism Walton faced in recent weeks, no coach could overcome the middling roster Sacramento still boasts nearly a decade into Ranadivé’s tenure … or a string of gaffes by the Kings just in the past three years,” wrote Marc Stein of Substack.