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December 15, 2014 Updates

The Sacramento Kings announced today that Michael Malone has been relieved of his head coaching duties, according to General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. Kings assistant coach Tyrone Corbin will assume head coaching responsibilities. “This was an extremely difficult decision, but one we feel is in the best interest of the franchise moving forward,” said D’Alessandro. “Michael made significant contributions to the organization on many levels and helped foster cultural changes that positively impacted our team. We’re thankful for the commitment he exhibited during his time in Sacramento and wish him and his family the very best in the future.” In 106 games at the helm, Malone compiled a 39-67 record since taking over as head coach prior the 2013-14 campaign. The Kings enter play Tuesday with an 11-13 mark on the season (fourth in Pacific Division standings). NBA.com

Sean Cunningham: DeMarcus Cousins said he practiced today. Faster pace offensively. Said he wasn't consulted before Malone's firing Twitter @News10Sean

Sam Amick: Cousins found out on Twitter. Asked about players' reaction, "I think this is the perfect weather for this situation." It's gray & rainy. Twitter @sam_amick

Michael Malone had been pining for a backup point guard, but Sacramento Kings management had a different idea for their coach a year ago: Royce White. Here was the beginning of the end for this doomed partnership, a disagreement that widened the gulf between them. White was out of shape, had no interest in playing basketball – which had been clear when the Houston Rockets released him. He had been awful in the Development League, a malingerer, and done nothing to deserve a call-up to the Kings. "Pretty soon, they're telling [Malone]: Why aren't you putting him in the games?" one organizational source told Yahoo Sports. "That's when it really started to get bad between him and the guys upstairs." Yahoo! Sports

The front office-coach relationship became increasingly strained through the Las Vegas summer league in July, especially once Ranadive and D'Alessandro made a play to trade for Detroit forward Josh Smith, sources said. The owner told people outside the franchise that, no, his coach didn't want Smith, but Ranadive didn't care. He wanted Smith's talent, and it was on Malone to make it work. Most of the coaching staff struggled to believe Smith could fit with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, and management differed. Talks with the Pistons shut down quickly, because Stan Van Gundy didn't want to make the proposed deals, sources said. "The Smith situation caused everyone to take sides: Management against coaches, coaches against management," a source told Yahoo Sports. "Things only got worse." Yahoo! Sports

 

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