The Sacramento Kings are back to dealing with dysfunction, but they can get ahead of it quickly by moving on from Assistant GM Brandon Williams.
Breaking news from the Sacramento Kings on Thursday sparked rumors of a growing rift between Head Coach Dave Joerger and Assistant General Manager Brandon Williams.
Thursday afternoon, news broke that Sacramento Kings Head Coach Dave Joerger reportedly kicked Assistant. GM Brandon Williams out of a team shoot-around. Reportedly, he believes Williams was the source behind rumors that Joerger’s job may be in jeopardy for not playing Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles III enough.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, Joerger asked that Williams not be present at the Sacramento Kings team shoot-around on Thursday. Williams then left the court with GM Vlade Divac at Joerger’s request. This all comes on the heels of a report that Joerger’s job was in jeopardy, a leak that the Kings coach feels came from Williams.
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This puts the Sacramento Kings in a bit of a predicament. Williams is allegedly angling for the Kings head coaching gig and manufactured the report Joerger’s job was in danger to create an opening. Joerger isn’t in unfamiliar territory when it comes to a front office divide either, as that’s reportedly the reason Joerger was fired by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2016, something the Sacramento Kings would be wise to avoid letting happen.
The Kings, for what it’s worth, have a fairly easy choice here. Do they keep their assistant GM and admit they were wrong to give him the power they did, or do they prioritize keeping the winningest coach since Rick Adelman happy in Sacramento?
The correct choice, if you haven’t caught on, is keeping Joerger. This shouldn’t be an issue, but because this is the Sacramento Kings were talking about: it is.
This, however, goes deeper than just choosing between Dave Joerger or Brandon Williams. It’s further proof that the Kings are not in a position to build a winning culture with Vlade Divac at the helm.
In fact, instead of backing up his head coach, Divac decided to do nothing to help quiet the noise. In a statement to Amick, Divac said:
I have advised my front office and coaching staff to not focus on drama and rumors, but instead focus on continuing to develop our young and exciting team. And that’s what we’re going to do.
What the Sacramento Kings decide to do here will decide whether the team will continue to be the league’s laughing stock or whether become a good, respectable team.
The first step is obviously firing Brandon Williams, following that, the Sacramento Kings need to seriously consider moving on from Vlade Divac as well. Divac is allowing this to continue and it risks derailing all the progress the Kings have made towards becoming a playoff team this season.
Divac has not been a good general manager with the Sacramento Kings. From the hiring of George Karl to getting robbed blind by the 76ers in trade talks, Divac’s tenure as GM has been uneven at best and an unmitigated disaster at worst.
There is a very real chance Dave Joerger could see this as the final straw from the team and could look to orchestrate his exit from Sacramento as he did in Memphis two years ago. NBC Sports’ James Ham also noted that disagreements over the direction of the team have led to a slew of departures that Joerger was against.
Regardless, the Sacramento Kings have to do something. It’s abundantly clear the team cannot continue to operate with both Williams and Joerger in tow. One of them has to go and it should be Williams. However, as we all know, nothing is that easy with this team and it’s likely they’ll try and press on without any repercussions for Williams, something that would likely further alienate Joerger.