Sacramento Kings GM Vlade Divac was a wily player. Gifted with size and smarts, the high basketball IQ center was a natural for the front office after his playing days were over. The 7’1″ Serb, whose number 21 was retired by the Kings, continued his wily ways this week, firing veteran coach George Karl after his first full season with the team — even though Divac said “George did a great job this year.” Karl signed a four-year deal worth $14.5 million ($11.5 guaranteed) in early 2015; he left with grace and gratitude. Divac saddled Karl with talented players, like Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins, who aren’t exactly known for team sacrifice. Karl couldn’t win, finishing the year 33-49.
So Divac showed Karl the door. In Sacramento it’s really more of a light curtain than a door– Karl being the eighth coach to pass through it since the Kings last made the playoffs in 2006. Besides praising Karl for his “great job,” the inscrutable Divac said other remarkable things including: “I feel bad about this season but not disappointed.” Cousins will meet his sixth coach in seven years next.