After the 2005-2006 season, the Sacramento Kings were embarking on a road that they hadn’t traveled in quite some time – one filled with turmoil and losses. The 05-06 season would be the last of eight consecutive trips to the postseason, and little did we know at the time, the start of the free-fall to rock bottom.
The Maloofs and GM Geoff Petrie opted to make several moves the following season, of which included the hiring of head coach Eric Musselman who survived just over a year at the helm – his time with the Kings more well known for a drunk driving charge than any influence he had with the players on the court. From there, the Kings struggled to find any leadership at the head coaching position – firing former player Reggie Theus, interim Kenny Natt and Paul Westphal, who publicly spat on multiple different King players in his short tenure – all axed in a five year span.
It’s been no secret that the Kings franchise has struggled to bring in a respected coach, so when Hall of Fame coach Den Nelson says he asked the Kings for the job in 2006, it seems odd that he didn’t even receive a return phone call from the Kings’ front office:
Nelson, who was retired and living in Maui at the time, left a private voice mail message for Petrie expressing his interest in the opening, but he never received a return call.
Nelson eventually was offered the Golden State Warriors job, taking the Dub’s to the 2007 playoffs, where they upset the #1 seed, 67-15 Dallas Mavericks.
Even if the Kings weren’t interested (and given their other options, you’d be hard pressed to not be), not even returning a phone call, after somebody expressed interest in you?