Keith Smart Takes Over As Head Coach After Kings Fire Paul Westphal

The Sacramento Kings on Thursday fired Paul Westphal as head coach after a 2-5 start that had gotten ugly. On Sunday, Westphal sent DeMarcus Cousins home and released a statement accusing the second-year center of hurting the team; after a win that night, Sacramento went on the road for a pair and got obliterated in Memphis and Denver.

Keith Smart, Westphal's top assistant, takes over for the Kings' Thursday game against the Milwaukee Bucks. In a release announcing the dismissal of Westphal, the Kings did not bestow the title "interim head coach" on Smart, which could mean that the team is willing to kick the tires on other candidates before giving Smart the reins for the season.

Smart has one full season as a head coach in the NBA, having run the Golden State Warriors in 2010-11. The Warriors won 36 games that season, a 10-win improvement over Don Nelson's final season in 2009-10. Under Smart, the Warriors were a up-tempo team (No. 5 in pace) who had an above-average offense (No. 12) but porous defense (No. 26). He rode star Monta Ellis hard; Ellis averaged 40 minutes per game, and lead the league in minutes played.

The Warriors excused Smart to hire Mark Jackson. Golden State is 2-4 this season.

UPDATE: NBA.com reports that Smart will lead the Kings for the remainder of the season.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.