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New Kings GM Monte McNair announces decision on Luke Walton

Kings, Luke Walton, Monte McNair

The Sacramento Kings may have a new general manager in Monte McNair after Vlade Divac stepped down from the position, but it appears that the team’s commitment to their head coach will not change. 

McNair himself announced that Luke Walton will still be the team’s head coach next season, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic. 

McNair, a former assistant general manager with the Houston Rockets, said he didn’t have a prior relationship with the 40-year-old Walton. However, he said they have had conversations and have the same goals for the team. Last season, Walton’s first year in charge of the Kings, the team finished with a 31-41 record. This was 12th in the Western Conference, and Sacramento missed out on the playoffs and extended the franchise’s postseason drought to 14 seasons.

Despite a 28-36 record when the NBA season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kings still had a shot at making the playoffs and got invited to the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. However, Sacramento lost five of its first six games to bow out of the playoff race, before ending the season with back-to-back wins over the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers. 

Shortly after the season, Divac, who had been the team’s GM since 2015, stepped down from his position, with McNair being announced as his replacement last week. The Kings hope to end the franchise’s long playoff drought next season, and McNair believes Walton is the man to lead them.