George Karl cited a lack of support from the Sacramento Kings and health issues for his firing as head coach this offseason.
Karl spent less than two seasons with the Kings.
“Vlade (Divac) has a helluva task ahead of him,” Karl said. “The roster needs to be tinkered with. He is going to be in for an NBA free agency unlike anything we have ever seen. If the decision is made to keep Cuz, you have to put the right players around him. But it can’t be about Cousins. You have to make basketball decisions.”
Karl's relationship with DeMarcus Cousins was always tenuous.
“I never felt I got into a good place with Cuz,” Karl said, “and some of that was my stupidity when I said that no player is untradeable. I still believe that. But I should have been smart enough not to say it, and I in no way, at any time, thought DeMarcus was going to get traded.”
On Nov. 8th, Karl wanted Cousins suspended two games for yelling at him after a loss to the Spurs.
“That night the bomb went off,” recalled Karl, his voice rising. “Vlade was right there. When they supported Cousins instead of me, I felt, ‘OK, I’m in the compromise position. Cuz has the power.’ They sent that message many times, too many times sent it to the players. And the players wanted someone to stand up to Cuz, and they wanted it to be their coach. But at that point, I realized that you either compromise or you blow it up, and my job was to make us a better basketball team and get to the end of the year.”