Basketball Prospectus: Unfiltered Everything Else is Fluff.

December 15, 2008

Sixth Coaching Change: Theus Out

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Pelton @ 4:44 pm

The other expected NBA coaching domino has fallen, with the Sacramento Kings reportedly firing Reggie Theus and replacing him on an interim basis with Kenny Natt. Assistant Chuck Person is also out as part of the transition. This one had been rumoredĀ for some time, so no big surprise, but seriously this is getting ridiculous. This is twice as many coaches as have been fired before the New Year at any point in the last two decades. (Hey, what if someone wrote a column about that? Wouldn’t that be great!)

One thing I didn’t mention in today’s column is that teams seem more reluctant now to go outside the organization for an interim (or even full-time) replacement. Every team that has made a change this year has promoted from within, two teams from the front office instead of from the coaching staff. There are some good candidates out there, including Avery Johnson and Flip Saunders as well as some of the guys already fired this year, so I’m not sure why that is. The Kings have yet to announce wether Natt will finish out the season or whether he is truly an interim head coach.

As for Theus, I’m not sure what to think. Given their talent, the Kings have played about as could reasonably be expected the last year-plus. Theus’ work developing the youngsters has been a mixed bag, with Spencer Hawes coming along nicely but Jason Thompson’s minutes dwindling. The biggest strike against Theus, I think, has been ably detailed by SactownRoyalty’s Tom Ziller (whose continuing coverage of this change you should surely be reading). Theus never established a style or a cohesive philosophy during his time at the helm in Sacramento, and I think that made it easier for Geoff Petrie and company to make this change.

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