UPDATE 1:39 P.M. EST
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Divac was the driving force behind keeping Karl around.
Kings never decided to fire Karl, which is why...they didn't fire him. Ranadive leaned toward dismissal, but Divac talked him out of it.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2016
The messy marriage between George Karl and the Sacramento Kings looks to be coming to an end.
ESPN sources say that the Sacramento Kings are going ahead with a coaching change and plan to fire George Karl in coming days— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 9, 2016
Fifth on the NBA’s all-time coaching wins list, Karl was hired midway through last season with the stated purpose of giving the long-awful Kings some stability, or at least some watchability. But Karl almost immediately began squabbling with Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive over DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings’ lone standout. Karl wanted to trade him, Ranadive said no, and it got to the point where Cousins was cursing out Karl in the locker room after games, leading to team meetings and hand-wringing and other signs of a team in disarray. Oh, and there’s a 21-31 record after four straight losses, with the Kings giving up at least 120 points in their last three (they gave up 128 points on Friday to the Nets, owners of one of the league’s worst offenses).
And now this: Point guard Rajon Rondo said Monday that only “three or four guys” show up to the team’s optional shootarounds.
Rondo: "With optional shootarounds it’s tough. ... When 3 or 4 guys show up for shootaround this morning, how can you expect to win.?"— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) February 9, 2016
The Kings being the Kings, forward Caron Butler immediately took to Twitter to call someone — either Rondo or Jones, who covers the team for the Sacramento Bee — a liar.
Jones also is reporting that Karl’s days are numbered and that he’ll be gone before the end of the All-Star Break. Sacramento’s last game before the break is Wednesday in Philadelphia.