Over the holiday weekend, a few media sources claimed that the Kings were on the verge of firing not only head coach Paul Westphal but also long tenured GM Geoff Petrie. And while nothing has come of the report (so far, at least), I’m having a difficult time running into an option of the potential firings.
Petrie, for whatever reason, has continually been given a golden pass because of his construction of the Kings glory years squad. But with that said, Petrie’s hands were most definitely tied when the Kings should have begun to rebuild by the Maloofs – so it’s hard to blame him for some of the issues the Kings have ran into. As much as I love the Maloof family, their desire to involve themselves in the day to day operations on the basketball side of the franchise many times is a detriment to the team.
Westphal on the other hand continues to baffle me with his odd rotations and handling of players emotions, such as DeMarcus Cousins or Spencer Hawes last year. Westphal really is one of the league’s nice guys, but I’ve continually misunderstood the majority of his actions since he came to Sacramento in 2009.
With all of that said, do Petrie and Westphal really deserve a pink slip? To be honest – I’m not really sure. I feel like firing Petrie now would remove him before he was able to complete the potential re-build that Kings appear to be on, despite their current woes. He’s proven he can field a competitive team and given the talent of Evans and Cousins, you’d have to think the Kings have a good shot of being a very competitive team in about 3-4 years.
However, when it comes to Westphal, I’m a bit less enthusiastic about his long term future, though short term I can deal with. He’ll certainly frustrate the hair off your balls, but I see a lack of potential replacements available. Some King fans might be interested in Larry Brown, and while I certainly think he could improve the culture of the team in the short term as he has done in many of his previous stops, he’ll also suck the blood out of the franchise like he’s done at many of his previous stops. Essentially, I don’t see much of anything available to the Kings that would be an improvement over Petrie or Westphal right now.
What would you do?