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The Sacramento Kings fired Head Coach Paul Westphal Thursday, citing a record of 51 wins and 120 losses in a little more than two seasons, team officials said in a press release.
“I want to thank Paul for all of his effort on behalf of the Kings,” said Geoff Petrie, chief of basketball operations. “Unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Westphal will be replaced by Assistant Coach Keith
Smart, but Kings officials did not say whether the appointment is permanent.
“I would like to thank the Maloof family for the incredible opportunity they gave me to participate in the attempt to bring the Sacramento Kings back to prominence,” Westphal said in the release. “While the job is far from finished, I am proud of the strides we were able to make.”
The season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 26 was a resounding victory for the Kings, but lackluster performances followed, and a tiff played out in the media between Westphal and the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins over an alleged request from Cousins to be traded, to much criticism from fans.
“Geoff Petrie and his staff have been nothing but honest and supportive throughout my time here,” Westphal said in the release. “They are first class in every way, and I wish them nothing but success. My hope is to see the fans of the Kings and the city of Sacramento rewarded with many years of great basketball.
“Finally, I want to thank my loyal staff and players for their efforts in attempting to climb out of the hole we shared. Nothing comes easy in the NBA, and I know they will not rest in their efforts to rebuild this team.”
Editorial Note: A spelling correction was made to this article after it was published.