Are Kings looking to fire George Karl in order to pursue John Calipari?

DeMarcus Cousins’ suspension for throwing a forearm aside, things have been relatively quiet in Sacramento as of late. But that doesn’t mean the turmoil swirling around the Kings has gone away.

Kings coach George Karl appears to still be on the hot seat. And if Sacramento does fire Karl, Bleacher Report is reporting owner Vivek Ranadive would like to promote current assistant coach Nancy Lieberman as the first female head coach in NBA history (GM Vlade Divac is reportedly leaning toward Corliss Williamson).

The belief still is it’s a matter of when, not if, Karl will be removed as the head coach.

If that should happen during this season, the short-term answers are, according to owner Vivek Ranadivé – or sources say – he would like to move Nancy Lieberman into the head-coaching position, making a big splash by having the first female head coach in NBA history. Vlade Divac, the GM is more inclined to fill with Corliss Williamson for the remainder of the season.

But Ranadivé’s biggest dream is to have Kentucky coach John Calipari come out and coach this roster full of Kentucky players.

But that’s not all: Bleacher Report posits Ranadive’s "biggest dream is to have Kentucky coach John Calipari come out and coach this roster full of Kentucky players."

Calipari is the big story here, of course, but let’s not overlook Lieberman. By all accounts, she’s a fine coach who understands all sides of an NBA franchise. She has coaching experience both as an NBA assistant and as the head coach of the D-League’s Texas Legends, where she also worked in the front office.


As for Calipari, the Kings currently employ three former Wildcats: DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and Willie Cauley-Stein. Sacramento’s reported interest in Calipari stretches back to this offseason, when there were indications that the Kings were discussing the possibility of Calipari taking on coaching and front-office responsibilities.

Calipari is one of the few prominent college coaches with NBA experience. His career professional record as a coach stands at 72-112 in three seasons with the Nets, as well as a first-round sweep in the 1998 playoffs. But he’s been out of the NBA since 1999-00, when he was an assistant coach in Philadelphia. And Calipari is entering the seventh year of a very successful run in Kentucky, including a national title in 2012. 

According to the report, Ranadive may be planning to make an offer that Calipari can’t refuse. Given the coach’s current status in the college ranks, it would likely take something enormous for him to consider a job change.

(h/t NBC Sports)



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