Luke Walton and the Sacramento Kings, who, at the time, had recently lost their fourth game in a row, found themselves once again looking for answers.
De’Aaron Fox had started the season slowly (though he’s improved since), as did Tyrese Haliburton, while Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield came slightly back down to earth after fantastic starts.
This is supposed to be a new year, a new Sacramento Kings; making the same mistakes is the last thing this team expected and certainly wanted. Unsurprisingly, the organization was, and is, not satisfied with the current state of the team.
In large thanks to the Kings’ struggles this season, Head Coach Luke Walton is now rumored to be on the hot seat.
This is at least according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Shams Charnia, who jointly released a report on the team.
“One thing that’s really helped us is (that) we have a very, very clear goal,” McNair said earlier this month, when the Kings were 5-5. “We want to get this organization back to the playoffs. We want to get back there, (and) that helps (that) we have a singular focus.”
In said report, Amick and Charania referenced that the leash is a bit shorter for Walton this year as the team has legitimate playoff expectations. General Manager Monte McNair said as much in a conversation with The Athletic on November eighth:
McNair didn’t mince words; the goal this season is to get this team back to the postseason. Between the talent that is present and the weak, confusing state of the Western Conference, this looks to be the season to make it happen.
What’s certainly true, though, is that this team cannot afford four-game losing streaks, especially ones that include losses to teams like the Spurs and the Thunder. The players are paid to play, so a good chunk of the responsibility obviously is on them, but Walton is far from an innocent party.
In his couple seasons as the Kings’ Head Coach, Luke Walton has failed to show what it is exactly that he does well. The offense has succeeded, sure but looking at the construction of the team, that seems to be more about the talent of the team as opposed to any difference made by Walton.
Seemingly at every turn, Walton has had his decisions questioned by both fans and media alike, and for good reason. Even though Walton has only been the Head Coach of the Kings’ since 2019, the possibility of him being on the hot seat seems well overdue.
Nothing is official yet, but tonight’s blowout win over the Detroit Pistons, while a positive, is likely not enough to make this noise go away.