Luke Walton didn’t last a month into the new NBA season before the Sacramento Kings fired him as their head coach after a 6-11 start. The Kings promoted associate head coach Alvin Gentry as their interim head coach.
Since joining the Kings at the start of the 2018-19 season, Walton went 68-93 in Sacramento before they fired him. He inherited a young and talented team, but they failed to qualify for the playoffs. Then again, it’s been a daunting task to restore the Kings back to their old glory. Ten men were up to the task, but none of them could turn around one of the worst franchises in the NBA.
The Kings have missed the postseason for 16 years in a row, which is the longest active streak in the NBA. After a 6-11 season, the Kings are currently in the #12 spot in the Western Conference. They’re on pace to miss the playoffs once again.
Since their last postseason appearance in 2006, the Kings churned through 10 head coaches. Those ex-coaches also bore the brunt of the lack of success when the front office routinely failed to import high-end free agents while letting their homegrown talent depart via trades or free agency. In the last decade, the Kings were among the bottom feeders in the Western Conference. They went from an NBA contender to a development system for bigger market teams, much like the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference
Interim HC: Alvin Gentry
In three seasons as head coach of the LA Lakers, Walton didn’t make the playoffs and won less than 40% of his games with a 98-148 record. LeBron James gave him a chance in 2018-19, but it was evident that LeBron didn’t think Walton could lead a championship team. The Kings hired Walton soon after he parted ways with the Lakers in the summer of 2019. As a player, Walton won two championships with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.
Kings general manager Monte McNair has the chance to hire his first head coach. His predecessor, Vlade Divac, hired Walton before his regime finally ended a five-year stint as GM in 2020. Divac got a lot of guff for passing on Luka Doncic in favor of Marvin Bagley III.
For now, the Kings tapped assistant head coach Alvin Gentry to become the interim head coach. In 17 seasons as a head coach with five different teams, Gentry compiled a career record of 510-595. His last head coaching job was with the New Orleans Pelicans, whom he led to the playoffs only once in five seasons.
The Kings are long shots on the NBA futures board at +25000 odds to win the 2022 championship, according to a recent update by the Circa Sportsbook in Las Vegas.