Will George Karl coach the Kings through the end of this losing season?
I thought the answer was “yes” after seeing a front-page teaser headline this morning in the Sacramento Bee that said: “Karl Staying Put.” That impression was reinforced – make that pounded home — in the Bee’s main sports story, two columns and even an editorial.
“We are not firing George,” Kings general manager Vlade Divac told the Bee’s Jason Jones, who covers the Kings on a daily basis. “We have to sit down, work together and figure out how to turn this around.”
The Bee’s editorial board, sports columnist Ailene Voisin and local columnist Marcos Breton all echoed the view that the Kings were sticking with Karl a day after rumors swirled that the team was about to fire its coach.
But then, persistent reader that I am, I came across this line buried in the penultimate paragraph of Jones’ lengthy sports story: “Divac didn’t say if Karl would remain the coach for the rest of the season.”
From what I can tell, no one on the Bee team pressed Divac on how long his support for Karl might last, nor did any of them see fit to pose hard questions to the three people most involved in this dispiriting tale: the guy at the top, Vivek Ranadive, Karl himself and his nemesis, DeMarcus Cousins.
Think about that for a minute. A day after the city’s only daily newspaper ran a big story that the Kings were about to fire Karl, a story attributed only to “league sources,” it does an about-face and says Karl is staying – for now – and bases that solely on what Divac has to say. No one seems to have gone directly to Ranadive, Karl or Cousins for their comments on the possible firing or related subjects.
Columnist Voisin, long an ardent supporter of troublemaker Cousins, praises Divac for preventing the franchise from spinning out of control and for taking “the car keys from DeMarcus Cousins.” What the heck does that mean? And did she ask Cousins how he feels about the purported putdown? Nope.
Breton writes that “the mercurial managing general partner of the Kings ownership group is the one person who has had a hand in every questionable decision fueling the losing, a carousel of coaches, team discord and muddled messages emanating from Sleep Train Arena.” Does Breton ask Ranadive to explain his actions or clarify his muddled messages? Nope. The intrepid columnist merely suggests that Ranadive should get the boot.
Breton also claims that the Kings didn’t leak the report on Karl’s imminent firing, but gives no support for that contention. He blasts social media for “burning up with news that your coach is being fired while the coach is still employed.” Social media? The Bee itself ran Jones’ story Monday, based on “league sources.” If this information didn’t come from the Kings, what credibility would it have and why would the Bee have relied on it?
Questions, questions, questions. I wish the Bee would start asking some hard ones on what’s really going on with the Kings.