With Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie in Europe doing international scouting for two weeks, the coaching search is in its infancy and the buzz is slowly starting. One report had New Mexico State coach and former Kings player Reggie Theus possibly coming as an assistant while Monarchs general manager John Whisenant would be the head coach. The pondered plan, reportedly, was for Theus to take over as head coach in two years. Who knows if the Kings ever talked about that scenario, but they may as well forget about it. According to a source close to Theus, that's a laughable concept. He is a hot name in the coaching ranks and would only jump to the NBA if it was to be a head coach.
The Maloofs are high on Theus, who has interesting ties on many fronts. There's the obvious New Mexico connection, with Theus having won the Maloofs' home state over with his combination of success and style in two years as a coach there. He played at UNLV and had his jersey retired by the Runnin' Rebels, so he has the Vegas territory covered. And he was, of course, a former Kings player.
Yet the Vegas name that might very well be more realistic is Lon Kruger, the current UNLV coach who recently took the Rebels to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1991. Kruger was 69-122 as the Atlanta Hawks head coach from 2000 to 2002 though falling short with that organization is surely excusable and could be seen as a Mulligan.
Overall, Petrie and the Maloofs are definitely planning on taking their time in this process. It makes you wonder if they're all that interested in landing a big name, considering Larry Brown just interviewed in Memphis and who knows if he'll be employed by the time the Kings' search really ramps up.
There has been predictable Rick Carlisle talk since he was fired in Indiana as well, but that’s a bit tricky and likely farfetched. While there are indications that trading Ron Artest will be a priority this offseason, there’s still the chance that you’d be reuniting two men who would probably just as soon never see each other again. Artest was extremely critical of Carlisle on his way out, and the coach had no easy time handling the mercurial forward.
And just to quiet all those Kings fans wondering if their team will be turning back time and bringing Rick Adelman back into town, co-owner Gavin Maloof was quick to kill that theory.
"No," he said when asked if he might put the past aside and bring back the coach who produced eight consecutive playoff berths. "No, he's not (a candidate). It just wouldn't work. We're not interested."
After conducting just three interviews last offseason, one can expect the Kings to have many more this time. Don't be shocked if there isn't a coach named until the June draft is close or even behind us.
-- Sam Amick