Sacramento Kings Fire Head Coach Reggie Theus

Jason ColdironCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2008

Today, the Sacramento Kings fired head coach Reggie Theus.

Assistant coach Chuck Person was also let go.

Theus will be replaced in the interim by assistant Kenny Natt.

The Kings got off to a slow start this season, and currently stand at 6-16. The team has been plagued with injuries, most notably to franchise player Kevin Martin.

Martin has missed many games this season with a recurring ankle problem. The team has also endured injuries to Francisco Garcia, Mikki Moore, Quincy Douby, and a five-game suspension of center Brad Miller.

Was this the right move at the right time for the Kings? Can Theus really be blamed for the team’s struggles?

I’m inclined to say, “no.” Considering the current roster and all the injuries, I’m not sure how much better Theus could have done. Could someone else do better with this group?

It was clear from the outset that this was going to be a rebuilding year. The Kings are losing a lot of games. They are making lots of the kinds of mistakes that young teams make.

Can this be put on Theus? I don’t think so.

I think a change at this point isn’t likely to help much. With the season lost to rebuilding anyway, what purpose does firing the coach now make? I suspect that ownership and management feel the team could be doing better. Perhaps they already knew they would make this move after the season anyway, so they decided to go ahead and do it now.

With a roster full of young players, I would think that stability would be a key. Making this change now could limit how much the young players gain this year. For now, Kenny Natt will run the team, and presumably the organization will make a full effort to find a permanent coach in the offseason.

With the rash of coaches fired in the league already this season, there will be plenty of candidates for the head coaching position. I would like to see the team pursue a coach who is currently unemployed. A coach with a proven track record. That coach is Flip Saunders.

Saunders took the Pistons to three-straight conference finals, and still was fired this past offseason. He is a coach who would command respect from the players and get them to overachieve.

What will it take to turn this team around?

Patience. Patience. Patience.

This is a very young team with a lot of promise. Players like Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia, Bobby Brown, Donte Green, Spencer Hawes, and Jason Thompson will only get better. They form what could be a solid core of players for the future.

The Kings will get another lottery pick this offseason. Hopefully GM Geoff Petrie will be able to find another young gun with that pick.

Then there is free agency. In the next couple of years, the Kings will have players like Brad Miller, Mikki Moore, and Kenny Thomas coming off the books, which will free up cap space. From there, hopefully the team can find a free agent or two to add to this group.

There is still hope for this team. The team will not make the playoffs this year, and probably not next year either. But in a couple of years, there will be a team to be excited about in Sacramento.

But that is for this offseason.

For now, I just want to see the Kings continue to play the young guys, with a goal of being better at the end of this season than they are now.

There is still hope in Sacramento, but it is off on the horizon.