So, the Sacramento Kings, a team comprised mostly of young Black guys, need a new head coach and they want to hire 63-year-old George Karl, who has been coaching longer than anyone on the team has been playing.
Does not seem like a mix that will bring out the best in the team, especially when there are Black young candidates who can relate to the players . . . and who deserve a shot.
Karl has been a credible coach over his career, which started in 1984 and has spanned five teams. His .566 winning percentage suggests he was solid, but not an all-time great.
So, why the infatuation in bringing him on board and not a talented young mind who could relate to the players and to whom the players could relate?
Karl’s impending hire reeks of the stuff we thought we had passed: white owners hiring retread white coaches because they’re white.
There’s nothing in what Karl has done that says he should be the choice for the Kings. His sometimes-abrasive style will go over like a Brillo pad with that young roster.
The best player, center DeMarcus Cousins, wants no part of Karl and his punitive brand of coaching. In one sense, maybe someone staying on Cousins’ case would make him an even better player. The pervasive thought is that Cousins would go into a shell.
Jacques Vaughn, a young Black coach, just lost his job in Orlando for reasons beyond comprehension, actually. The Magic talent level is among the lowest in the league, and yet Vaughn was held responsible for the team’s struggles?
Mark Jackson, who was superb with Golden State and unjustly fired, is available. He might not want the job, but Avery Johnson is out there, too. And Mike Brown—Black coaches who have a better chance at reaching the young talent.
But Sacramento’s general manager Pete D’Allesandro seems hell bent on Karl.
Meanwhile, Cousins’ management team would rather see almost anyone other than Karl, who has a tumultuous past with Cousins’ representatives.
Cousins, the franchise player, has not expressed his position on Karl, but he has not been happy since Mark Malone was fired in December.
NBCSports.com’s reports that the differences within Cousins’ camp will stop the Kings from signing Karl, if he wants the job. That Karl is in such a position 31 years after his first NBA coaching job is not quite a slap in the face of young Black coaches who deserve another shot. . . but it’s close.