Dave Joerger: Conquering The Kings


It wasn’t a surprise when the Sacramento Kings fired legendary Head Coach George Karl after only one full season with the franchise. The King’s had a very disappointing year under Karl, going 33-49 with a roster that could probably be fighting for a decent playoff spot. With arguably the best center in the league in DeMarcus Cousins, it was a shock when yet another year marred the franchise with another awful season filled with more controversy and dysfunction than any team in recent memory.


With the parting of ways between Karl and the Kings it was now a question of who will be the coach to take over this wreck of a team. The candidates ranged from the former Rocket’s coach Kevin McHale to longtime assistant coach and another NBA great Patrick Ewing. They had meetings scheduled up through, what seemed like, the next month, but all of those have been called off. The King’s front office announced that they had found their man in the shockingly released Memphis coach, Dave Joerger.


“I am thrilled to welcome Dave to the Sacramento Kings,” Kings vice president of basketball operations, Vlade Divac said. “He is a strong and passionate leader with a proven track record of producing results. Dave shares our focus on creating a long-term culture of winning and I look forward to a bright future ahead for the Kings with his leadership on the court.”


Joerger is coming off of, arguably, his most successful season after coaching a viciously ravaged Grizzlies’ roster into the playoffs. That team set an NBA record of making the playoffs after using 28 different players during the season. It was a jolt that he was fired until reports began leaking out that Sacramento had been asking and prodding around to try and hire him away since they fired Karl which led to Memphis ending his tenure despite the praise he received for his work.


For those with their ears to the walls housing the innermost workings of the NBA, the firing or “release” of Joerger was actually in the works ever since he and the upper brass in Memphis began arguing over the core of the roster being “too old”. The nail in the proverbial coffin was when he talked to reporters after the 4-0 sweep in the first round they suffered at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs and mentioned how he wouldn’t be involved with the draft process. The funny thing is, he chose the Sacramento front office to be more stable than the Memphis one. Oh boy.


With this signing the Kings have hopefully added someone who can stabilize the locker room around Cousins or whoever they bring in if they end up trading him. He has years of experience around another great center in Marc Gasol and coming from a Memphis team that always played with a chip on their shoulder and had success doing so expect a much more physical game to come around in Sacramento.


These are three points that make the hiring of Dave Joerger the smartest things the Kings could have done to this point in their offseason.


He is a genius when it comes to drawing up or explaining plays. You just have to look at last year’s series against the Warriors or any of the post season battles against the Thunder to see that. Because of his plays the Grizzlies have won many close games.

He has great experience with both a great center and a tough defense. No matter what you say about his trial and errors in mixing up or changing the dynamics of the Memphis teams he led, they all played hard and tough defense, which was arguably the worst part of the playstyle for Sacramento. With his guidance and experience with centers, defense and dealing with oddball attitudes, Zach Randolph and Lance Stephenson to name a few, this team could vastly improve.


Lastly, despite his odd decision making at times, all of his teams played hard and as a team. Hopefully as he integrates into the locker room and possibly brings in some new blood to help out the Kings can turn around their instability and mesh. It won’t be easy but Vlade appears to have made a great hire.

About Aaron Davis

Aaron is a staff writer and the Co-Founder of NBALEAD. He has been following the NBA for over 15 years. Graduated from Purdue University.

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