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Sale of Kings means needed front office, coaching changes

May 17, 2013, 1:07 PM EDT

Keith Smart AP

Whatever happened with the sale of the Kings, one thing was a lock — big front office changes and a coaching change were on the way.

Now that the deal is done and the Kings will be staying in Sacramento, don’t expect it to be long before you see changes — Geoff Petrie and Keith Smart out as coach. Everyone around the league knew they were lame ducks the second half of the season.

Sam Amick at the USA Today confirmed that, although he put it more kindly and suggested possible replacements (remember, new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive is selling his minority interest in Golden State to buy the Kings).

If Kings coach Keith Smart is not retained as is expected, then Warriors assistant Michael Malone – a former assistant in Cleveland and New Orleans who sparked dramatic defensive improvement at each of his NBA stops and has interviewed for several head coaching vacancies – is expected to be a candidate.

Longtime Kings general manager Geoff Petrie is not expected to be retained either after the team’s 28-54 campaign, and one possible successor who would certainly bring name recognition was on hand on Thursday night. Warriors’ legend Chris Mullin, who called Game 6 as a television commentator for ESPN, was in the team’s front office from 2004 to 2009 and said he would be open to discussing the situation in Sacramento. He has met Ranadive several times but said they had not yet discussed the possibility.

Malone, along with Brian Shaw and Kelvin Sampson, is one of the hottest assistant coach names to move into the big chair. With the Warriors now out of the playoffs, look for him to have series of interviews, but he would be a good choice.

The Kings front office likely will become more advanced stats friendly, something we saw with the Warriors and in places such as Memphis. Almost all teams use them now, just to varying degrees, but look for the Kings to move up that curve.

There are some good pieces — DeMarcus Cousins, if you can get him focused, Isaiah Thomas, even Marcus Thornton — but there is a lot of work to be done. The team needed a new direction and energy, and they are about to get that.

  1. birdsflynorth206 - May 17, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    bye-bye Geoff Petrie and Keith Smart, Kings fans won’t miss you

  2. realfootballfan - May 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    The wonder is who did Geoff Petrie have naked pictures of to stay employed this long.

  3. skinsfanwill - May 17, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Smart needs to be fired, but Cousins put a lot of added pressure on him. When the player has a bigger voice than the coach then there will always be a problem. See Lakers…

  4. blantoncollier - May 17, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Petrie was never going to be fired. He was the cheap easy option for a team short on cash. So was Keith Smart.

  5. gls24 - May 17, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    I watched a lot of Kings’ games this past season and don’t recall seeing either Petrie or Smart on the court . . .

    • birdsflynorth206 - May 17, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      Yea, but you watched the roster that was put together Petrie and coached by Smart

  6. patfic15 - May 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    First order of business: Fire everyone.

  7. harper2 - May 17, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Petrie does need to go but at the same time I do want to take a second to thank him for all of his hard work. It may be over a decade since his magic died out, but there was a time when he was the best in the business and helped bring the Kings to the top. I will always cherish those special seasons!

    Wish him only the best in the future!

  8. adoombray - May 17, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Keith Smart deserved it for the Aaron Brooks situation alone. Brooks was a starter well past the point of any kind of rational thought, and it got to the point where DMC was wearing Isaiah Thomas jerseys in the post-game interviews. The team was in open revolt against his rotations, and the attitude of “this thing is getting blown up so i’m gonna get mine” trickled down from there. When Smart starts coming up for other coaching jobs, remember this: He’s a terrible coach and blaming the situation on, erm, the situation, is a cop out.

  9. kibblesnvick - May 17, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Little Isaiah Thomas is a BEAST!

    • vapor54 - May 18, 2013 at 7:26 AM

      IT can be great but also erratic.

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