Dave Joerger, the former Memphis Grizzlies coach, and Sacramento Kings agreed to a four-year deal on Monday.
According to ESPN, Joerger’s four-year deal is worth $16 million with a team option in the fourth year. The naysayers ask – how long will Joerger survive? Most league insiders feel the Kings coaching job is a mishap waiting to happen – especially since it involves dealing with DeMarcus Cousins.
Dave Joerger: Lucky No 6?
Since superstar center DeMarcus Cousins was drafted in 2011, the Kings have fired as many as five coaches with George Karl being the latest victim. After Paul Westphal, Keith Smart, Mike Malone, Tyrone Corbin and Karl, Joerger will join what is perhaps the most dysfunctional team in the NBA.
The question is: Will Joerger and Cousins coexist? Will Coach No. 6 prove to be the lucky charm for Cousins? Regardless of the negative reputation surround the Kings organization, Joerger seems quietly confident.
Vlade Divac, Kings VP of basketball operations, released a statement Monday to announce the hiring of Joerger. “I am thrilled to welcome Dave to the Sacramento Kings. 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.”
According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Kings and Joerger came to a quick agreement just days after the coach was fired by Memphis Grizzlies. “Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and Joerger met on Monday and discussions moved to a swift conclusion with an agreement. The Kings fetched Joerger and his family in a private jet for a Sunday visit in Northern California, and Joerger and Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac spent considerable time discussing a partnership.”
The Kings interviewed Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro, Mike Woodson, David Blatt, Mark Jackson, Jeff Hornacek, Nate McMillan, Patrick Ewing and Elston Turner before coming to terms with Joerger. They had also considered elevating current assistant Corliss Williamson as head coach.
To his credit, Joerger did a phenomenal job coaching Memphis to a 42-40 record last season despite losing franchise players Marc Gasol and Mike Conley to season-ending injuries. In fact, Joerger was viewed as a Coach of the Year candidate.
During his three seasons with the Grizzlies, Dave Joerger enjoyed an impressive winning percentage of .598 with a win-loss record of 147-99. In 2015, the Grizzlies reached the conference semfinals before losing to eventual champions Golden State Warriors.