Sources: Kings fire coach Walton after 6-11 start

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The Sacramento Kings fired coach Luke Walton on Sunday, sources told ESPN.

The Kings have lost seven of eight games and dropped to 6-11 on season — leaving them 12th in the Western Conference.

Kings associate head coach Alvin Gentry — a five-time head coach in the NBA — is expected to be a strong candidate to serve as interim head coach.

Walton was 68-93 in two-plus seasons as Kings coach.

Kings general manager Monte McNair will get a chance now to hire his own head coach. Walton was hired under Vlade Divac, the previous GM.

Several recent losses came against struggling teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Kings have been one of the league’s worst defensive teams under Walton — ranking 26th in defensive efficiency this season and last in the NBA 2020-21. This season, Sacramento ranks 26th in defensive rebounding percentage, 29th in paint points per game allowed and last in second chance points per game allowed in 2021-22, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Sacramento has the longest active playoff drought in the NBA (since 2006). In those 15 years, they’ve had 10 head coaches — Walton’s interim replacement will be the 11th since Rick Adelman led the Kings to their last playoff berth in the 2005-06 season.

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