KEY POINTS

  • The Kings turn to Alvin Gentry to tweak the team’s system
  • Gentry can transform the Kings into a fast-paced squad anchored on Fox and Hield
  • Overhauling the system may end the franchise's 15-year playoff drought

The Sacramento Kings unsurprisingly fired Luke Walton as their head coach, and they will turn to Alvin Gentry to man the ship for the franchise.

Walton got the pink slip after leading the Kings to a woeful 6-11 win-loss record in the Western Conference this season, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported.

The 41-year-old coach wrapped up his coaching stint with the Kings with a 68-93 record since coming on board in 2019.

Walton never went beyond the regular season during his coaching tenure with the franchise.

“After a thorough evaluation of the season thus far, I decided to make a change to the head coach position,” Kings general manager Monte McNair stated. “I want to thank Luke for his efforts and contributions to our team.”

Gentry, who previously served as head coach for the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans, will reportedly take over and serve as interim head coach for the Kings according to the team’s official Twitter account.

The 67-year-old will have a huge task at hand as he tries to steer a young star-laden squad to success.

At the top of the list is De’Aaron Fox. The fifth overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft has been struggling under this season, despite coming off a career-best 2020-21 season performance that saw him average 25.2 points, 7.2 assists, and 3.5 rebounds in 35.1 minutes of action per Basketball-Reference.

But Gentry has more than enough talent to work with. Aside from Fox, the Kings have veterans who can arguably lead the team to a better showing. That list includes Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes and Buddy Hield.

The Kings are also not short on young talent with Tyrese Haliburton, Davion Mitchell and even Marvin Bagley III in the lineup.

Looking at the history of Gentry’s coaching style, he could be a good fit to whip the Kings into a fast-paced team.

Gentry proved that when he was with the Suns (2009 to 2013) and the Pelicans (2016 to 2020) respectively.

Sacramento still has time to turn things around this season, but it depends on how Gentry can maximize the talent on the Kings’ current roster.

Coach Alvin Gentry Coach Alvin Gentry Photo: Getty Images | Jonathan Bachman