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“After evaluating the season, I determined that we need to move in a different direction in order to take us to the next level,” Divac said in the announcement, “On behalf of the entire Kings organization, I want to thank Dave for his contributions to our team and I wish him all the best.”
This comes after Sam Amick of The Athletic reported the Kings signed Divac to a four-year extension that will keep him in place through the 2022-23 campaign.
Despite a third straight losing season under Joerger, the future looks bright for the Kings on the surface. They improved from 27 wins a season ago to 39 and have a number of young and talented pieces to build around in De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III.
They were in playoff contention for much of the season under Joerger’s tutelage, which was one of the season’s biggest surprises in the Western Conference outside of LeBron James’ failure to lead the Los Angeles Lakers into the postseason.
However, Amick made it clear a 9-17 finish following a 30-26 start “has fueled the notion that the 45-year-old Joerger is in peril.”
Amick’s report specifically highlighted the final two games of the season that saw the Kings lose to the New Orleans Pelicans without Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle and the Portland Trail Blazers without Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Al Farouq-Aminu, Moe Harkless, Enes Kanter, Rodney Hood and Evan Turner.
In fact, Portland used a mere six players and overcame a 28-point deficit in that contest.
The poor finish isn’t the only thing reportedly working against Joerger, as Amick noted there are “trust issues” between the head coach and assistant general manager Brandon Williams.
It all has reportedly led to Joerger’s firing, even though the Kings took significant strides this past season.