Paul Westhphal Fired By Sacramento Kings

Paul Westphal was fired by the Sacramento Kings on Thursday after the former head coach was rendered useless in finding ways to control rising star DeMarcus Cousins.

The Kings fired Westphal after just over two seasons as the clubs head coach as a dispute with Cousins continued to create tension in the teams locker room.

In the meantime former Golden State Warriors coach and current Sacramento assistant coach Keith Smart has signed a contract to take over coaching duties for the Kings.

With the Cousins-Westphal duel in full swing owners Joe and Gavin Maloof made the decision to fire Westphal, the first victim of the shortened NBA season.

The duel appeared to come to a head on Sunday when Westphal said Cousins didn’t have enough commitment for the team and then excused him from the clubs game against New Orleans. Westhphal later claimed Cousins demanded a trade, a claim the players agent adamantly refuted.

Speaking about the teams decision Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie said:

“We’re in a situation here where you can’t take a philosophical vacation because things are happening in real time,” and “You start to keep seeing the same things over and over again, you can’t sit around and meditate forever about how you’re going to approach them or try and change them.”

The Sacramento Kings under Paul Westhphal’s lead entered Thursday night’s game against Milwaukee with a 2-5 record, bad enough for last place in their division. Overall the Paul Westphal lead Kings were 51-120.

In a statement released by the team Paul Westhphal thanked the organization for the opportunity they provided:

“While the job is far from finished, I am proud of the strides we were able to make.”

In response to the coaches firing Demarcus Cousins said:

“It’s been an emotional week and a lot of misunderstandings, but it comes with the territory. Coach Westphal was a great teacher to a lot of us and a good coach. But this was a management decision.”

In should be mentioned that Cousins’ behavioral problems have been well covered since his days in high school and his one year at Kentucky in which his dramatic playing style was also met with outbursts against referees, fellow player and coaches. In the eyes of many analysts he’s a spoiled brat who’s talent is partly wasted on his immaturity.

“Of course people are going to tie (Westphal’s firing) to me,” Cousins said. “It will just show their ignorance. But like I said, it’s not my decision.”

In the meantime the city of Sacramento must approve a new arena by March 1, if no decision is reached the NBA and the Maloof brothers will once again think about relocating the team to a different area.

Do you think firing Paul Westhphal was the right decision for the Sacrament Kings to make?

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