Paul Westphal Fired: 5 Ways He Held the Sacramento Kings Back

Danny HaugerCorrespondent IJanuary 5, 2012

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 29:  Head coach Paul Westphal of the Sacramento Kings stands by the bench during their game against the Chicago Bulls at Power Balance Pavilion on December 29, 2011 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Paul Wesphal’s run as head coach of the Sacramento Kings will not be remembered in the long view of basketball history. Nevertheless, for now, the firing of Paul Westphal gives the Kings a chance to recover from the early terrors of the 2011-2012 season and compete in the Western Conference.

Here are the top five ways that Paul Westphal held back the Sacramento Kings.

DeMarcus Cousins refused to play for Westphal. He was unresponsive to Westphal's coaching style, and his already-soured attitude inflamed the chemistry of the club and left them without their star center.

A new coach might be the motivation and inspiration to control the ego and temper of the talented big man.

Paul Westphal installed the “no game plan” offense in Sacramento that resulted in the them being trounced out of the arena in Denver and being one of three teams in the NBA to average more turnovers than assists.

The "me-first" style of play over the past five games has resulted in only two wins and an appalling approach to team basketball.

Paul Westphal failed to define roles. Having four shooting guards on the floor created havoc on both ends. When the shots did not fall, the Kings were beat in transition by long rebounds-turned-fast breaks.

Team mainstays Donte Greene and Francisco Garcia were sparsely seen on the floor. John Salmons, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and Travis Outlaw refused to collaborate, instead preferring to anchor on the three-point arc and await reception or relenting to watch their team mates work their solo games.

There has not been a point-guard starting the games since the first tip. Poor ball distribution resulted in selfish play. The best points of the season have been unassisted shots falling instead of strategy coming to fruition. Ball handling has been daring charges to the basket without kickouts to open shooters.

Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas have not received lessons, and have been forced to figure it out on their own. Both young players need guidance to thrive and take on value off the bench; they need a system to flourish in.

Westphal confounded the Kings by allowing them to freestyle themselves beyond their talents would allow.

The overall chemistry of the Sacramento Kings early on has been absent. Celebrating after the opening night win over the Lakers has long gone, signaling in the inexperience and immaturity of a team in desperate need of a respectful, worthy coach to turn the team and the season around.

The opportunity awaits with the dismissal of coach Westphal. He is the first coach fired this year, with an overall record of 51-120 in Sacramento.