Report: Dave Joerger Kicked Kings Assistant GM Out of Practice Amid Unrest

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2018

Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger reacts to a call during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)
Karen Pulfer Focht/Associated Press

The tension between Sacramento Kings head coach Dave​ Joerger and assistant general manager Brandon Williams reportedly reached another level this week.

According to The Athletic's Sam AmickJoerger asked Williams to refrain from attending Thursday's shootaround, a request Williams obliged.

The issue reportedly stems from Joerger's belief that Williams was behind Amick's Nov. 19 report that the team was looking to replace the coach.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes also reported Nov. 17 that a coaching change could be imminent because Joerger and the organization differed on the team's approach to 2018-19. The Kings view this year as a developmental opportunity, particularly for No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III. However, Joerger is more focused on winning games.

Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac refuted the notion that Joerger was on the hot seat, noting the franchise stands by the coach.

"Dave has our full support and confidence," Divac said in a statement earlier this month, per Amick. "We continue to work together to develop our young core and compete."

Additionally, Amick noted Divac caught up with the team in Utah on Nov. 21 to meet with Joerger, Joerger's agent, Warren LeGarie, and Kings owner Vivek Ranadive. That reportedly went well, although Joerger was under the impression the organization would discipline Williams.

That didn't happen. As a result, Joerger apparently took a stand Thursday.

Divac declined to discuss any internal issues Thursday, per Amick"I have advised my front office and coaching staff to not focus on drama and rumors, but instead to focus on continuing to develop our young and exciting team. And that's what we're going to do."

Sacramento is 10-10 and just four games back of the top spot in the Western Conference. For a franchise that hasn't made the postseason since 2006 and won 27 games a season ago, that's a pleasant surprise.

Meanwhile, Bagley is playing just 24.0 minutes per contest, and 2017 first-round pick Harry Giles III is down at 10.6 minutes. If the team falls out of contention, those totals would likely grow.

Amick wrote that Thursday's incident was a "one-time" deal that Joerger used "to send a message of strength and unity" to his players. And at least for now, Joerger and Williams will coexist in Sacramento.