SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Monday marked another new era for the Sacramento Kings. It was their first game with interim head coach Alvin Gentry after Luke Walton was fired over the weekend.
Gentry becomes the 11th head coach in 15 years since the Kings’ last trip to the playoffs during the 2005-06 season — the last under Rick Adelman, who was recently inducted into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.
Gentry has served as an assistant for the past three seasons.
“I don’t know if its fair to look back 15 years ago because none of us was here none of us was involved in that,” Gentry said.
The new coach is promising more speed.
“We do have to speed up the pace and be consistent with the pace,” Gentry said.
The team’s first game under Gentry was against a short-handed Philadelphia 76ers. Sacramento lost 102-94 Monday night.
For fans frustrated by a playoff drought, a Sacramento playoff run can’t come fast enough.
“I just hope that we can get off to a new start,” fan Austin Writesman said.
“I think the players are going to respond,” fan Jeffrey Shelton said.
Lisa Daniels and her 15-year-old daughter Alex are excited for the coaching change.
“The last time they made the playoffs, she wasn’t even born,” Daniels said. “So, its exciting because there’s some really good players.”
Daniels remembers being in labor with her daughter, and watching NBA playoffs from the hospital bed. The Kings were not on.
“I was watching the Phoenix Suns-Dallas Mavericks game at Kaiser South, and Kings weren’t in the playoffs then, so I had to do something,” Daniels said.
The last time the Kings were in the playoffs:
- George W. Bush was president.
- Facebook was just launching to the world.
- The iPhone did not exist.
“It’s really scary to put it in perspective like that, when you put it that way,” Daniels said.
Now, there’s a new coach — and a new era? Kings fans know by now, they may not be able to count on a post-season. They can always hold on to hope.