The Sacramento Kings are hailing the hiring of coach Dave Joerger as the end of dysfunction within the organization.
"The coach and the general manager are absolutely on the same team," Joerger said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. "And going forward like this, our front office, our coaching staff, that's going to go all the way through the organization."
Although terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, sources told ESPN that Joerger agreed to a four-year deal worth $16 million, and the fourth year of the contract is a team option.
New Sacramento coach Dave Joerger says he and the Kings' front office are starting off on the right foot. Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports
Joerger replaces coaching veteran George Karl, who failed to fully connect with players or management in Sacramento despite a legacy of success and said he never felt empowered in Sacramento.
Joerger himself struggled with the front office of the Memphis Grizzlies. Despite leading Memphis to the playoffs in each of his three years as head coach, he was fired after the injury-ravaged Grizzlies were ousted in the first round.
Sources close to the situation confirmed to ESPN that a divide between Joerger and the Memphis front office had been growing for some time.
"It will be players, coach, front office on the same page. It will be a good environment," Kings general manager Vlade Divac said. "I have no doubt DeMarcus [Cousins] will be on the same page. He's our leader and our franchise player."
The mercurial Cousins is the team's lone star, but he has butted heads with seemingly all five head coaches he's had in his six seasons with the franchise, including Karl.
On Tuesday, however, the Kings and Joerger were both heralding a unified front in California's capital city.
"In California we've got the food chain In-N-Out, and here we've got [a team philosophy that] either you're in or you're out," Divac said.
The Kings went 33-49 -- their highest win total since the 2007-08 season -- and missed the playoffs for a 10th consecutive season despite expectations from owner Vivek Ranadive to end that drought. The team will move into a new arena next season and unveiled a new logo and altered color scheme for next year.
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