NBA: Kings fire Luke Walton, name Alvin Gentry as interim coach

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Nov 22 2021 09:16 AM

Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton argues with referee Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling (7) during the second quarter against the Utah Jazz at Golden 1 Center. Darren Yamashita, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton argues with referee Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling (7) during the second quarter against the Utah Jazz at Golden 1 Center. Darren Yamashita, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Sacramento Kings fired coach Luke Walton on Sunday and named Alvin Gentry as the team's interim head coach.

The Kings have lost seven of their last eight games and 11 of 17 to start the season.

"After a thorough evaluation of the season thus far, I decided to make a change to the head coach position," Kings general manager Monte McNair said. "I want to thank Luke for his efforts and contributions to our team."

Walton, 41, owns a 68-93 record in two-plus seasons as coach of the Kings. He also posted a 98-148 mark in three seasons as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Kings went 31-41 in each of Walton's first two seasons in Sacramento, with the team finishing tied for 11th place in the Western Conference last season -- two games outside of a spot in the play-in tournament.

Gentry, 67, will serve as the head coach of his sixth NBA team. He has a 510-595 record while coaching the Miami Heat (1995), Detroit Pistons (1997-2000), Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03), Phoenix Suns (2008-13) and New Orleans Pelicans (2015-20).

The Kings have not been to the playoffs in 15 years overall (2006), tying the Clippers franchise -- a string that began in 1977 when the Clippers were known as the Buffalo Braves and ran through 1992 -- for the NBA's longest playoff drought.