The Sacramento Kings, mired in a 2-5 start and tons of turmoil surrounding big man DeMarcus Cousins, have fired coach Paul Westphal, the team announced in a press release. Westphal departs after posting a 51-120 record in two years and seven games on the job.
"I want to thank Paul for all of his effort on behalf of the Kings," general manager Geoff Petrie said in the release. "Unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect. I wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Assistant coach Keith Smart will take over for Westphal in the interim. Smart was fired as the Golden State Warriors' head coach after just one full season on the job, and he hooked on with Sacramento as an assistant prior to this season,
Westphal's firing comes a few days after he issued a statement suspending Cousins, his mercurial big man, for issuing a trade demand. Cousins has denied doing so and was back in the lineup after one game. The timing of the move may suggest that the organization sided with its young big man over the head coach.
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