By Mardeio Cannon | OBSERVER Columnist
First of all, I truly hope that everyone reading this column had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends and you are thankful for the bountiful blessings we all enjoy despite all the negative and distasteful way things are going on in our society today — BE THANKFUL ANYHOW!!
Now, here we go again! The Sacramento Kings have relieved Luke Walton as the head coach after three years of futility and bad luck! Even though I was very upset on the way that Walton got the job from Vlade Divac after only a one-day search, Walton had the second-best career head coaching record with the Kings behind only Dave Joerger in the post-Rick Adelman area.
Now the Alvin Gentry era begins as he will try to somehow get this underwhelming roster to at least the 10th spot in the Western Conference this season which would get them into a play-in playoff game against the 9th seed on the road. Even if the Kings win that game they still would have to beat the loser of the 7th and 8th seed to gain the 8th spot. If the Kings get that far then they would play the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference in a seven-game series!
For long-suffering Kings fans a bit of good news is the fact that Gentry has taken on the interim head coaching role twice before in his 35-year NBA coaching career and was successful. Gentry is still bitter about his dismissal from New Orleans and reportedly had a confrontation with the General Manager of the Pelicans recently.
The Kings can only hope that Gentry can have similar results to Nate McMillan of the Atlanta Hawks last season.
McMillan took over the interim head coaching duties of the Hawks in mid-season when the Hawks were not even thinking about the playoffs. However, somebody forgot to tell McMillan because not only did he lead Atlanta to the playoffs, he led them to the Eastern Conference Finals.
He was rewarded with a long-term deal as the head coach of the Hawks.
Gentry will have to somehow get De’Aaron Fox to come out of his funk and play inspired basketball from this point on. He also will have to get lucky and not lose any key players to long-term injuries.
One of these years, the fortunes of the Sacramento Kings will have to turn around, hopefully Alvin Gentry will be the spark to light the match!!