Sacramento Kings Fire Head Coach Paul Westphal After Poor Start

 
on January 05 2012 3:10 PM

The Sacramento Kings have fired coach Paul Westphal after the team's 2-5 start this year.

Kings' president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie made the announced Thursday preceding the team's game at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Petrie said assistant coach Keith Smart will coach the team against the Bucks. Petrie coached the Golden State Warriors in the 2010-2011 season.

According to Petrie, the Kings' overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect.

Westphal became the first NBA coach fired in the young season, which was delayed until Christmas Day by a players' strike.

I want to thank Paul for all of his effort on behalf of the Kings, Petrie said in a statement. Unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Westphal, who previously coached the Phoenix Suns and Seattle Supersonics, finished with a 51-120 record.

He thanked the team ownership for the opportunity to coach the Kings, in a statement.

I would like to thank the Maloof family for the incredible opportunity they gave me to participate in the attempt to bring the Sacramento Kings back to prominence, Westphal said. While the job is far from finished, I am proud of the strides we were able to make.

Geoff Petrie and his staff have been nothing but honest and supportive throughout my time here. They are first class in every way and I wish them nothing but success. My hope is to see the fans of the Kings and the city of Sacramento rewarded with many years of great basketball.

Finally, I want to thank my loyal staff and players for their efforts in attempting to climb out of the hole we shared. Nothing comes easy in the NBA and I know they will not rest in their efforts to rebuild this team.

At the start of the season, Westphal was involved with reported problems with young center DeMarcus Cousins. The 21-year-old Cousins, who has a history of questionable behavior and discipline in high school and college, has averaged 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in 26 minutes per game this season.

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