Depending on your level of cynicism, this is either the lines being drawn or simply the parameters being set.
Either way, the hours following the announcement that Kenny Natt would not return as Kings coach today included unmistakable messages sent by both basketball president Geoff Petrie and one of his bosses, Kings co-owner Joe Maloof. And for once, it seems, they are on the same page.
While outlining the search to the media, Petrie - who has just one season remaining on his contract - was very detailed about what he wants when it comes to the team's third coaching search in the last four offseasons.
"We'll start to cull the list and look at people that we think meet some of the qualifications that we're looking for at this point, and they would be somebody that has had a lot of experience in the NBA, No. 1, and No. 2, somebody that's had experience as a head coach in the NBA, and No. 3 somebody who has had some level of success at some point as a head coach in the NBA," Petrie said in no uncertain terms.
After the news conference, I spoke with Maloof by phone and discovered that he is - at the outset - prepared to allow Petrie to operate within his own guidelines.
"The decision will be made by Geoff and the basketball people," Joe Maloof said. "They're going to make this decision, and I guess in time they'll probably start the interview process, Geoff will, and go from there. Geoff has complete control of it. I don't know who he's going to speak to."
We'll have more obviously, but one final note is that Petrie said Shareef Abdur-Rahim will remain with the organization in come capacity. As for Kings consultant Pete Carril, he said "Coachie" was not in a position to be a full-time assistant coach at this stage in life but said role as a "wise sage" could be attractive to the next Kings coach. - Sam Amick