SACRAMENTO, CA - The Sacramento Kings announced today that George Karl will become the team’s new head coach, according to General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. Karl becomes the 27th coach in franchise history and the 16th during the Sacramento-era. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We’re fortunate to be taking a step towards returning this franchise to prominence with one of the best coaches in basketball on our sideline,” said D’Alessandro. “George knows how to win, as evidenced by a lifetime track record of success and ability to maintain consistency throughout his three decades in the game. We’re excited to welcome him to Sacramento.”
“I'm extremely excited for the opportunity to coach again in the NBA, and I'm thankful it's happening in Sacramento," said Karl. “I'm looking forward to the challenge of helping guide the franchise back to greatness. We have an owner in Vivek Ranadivé who is committed to winning, a roster with some impressive components already assembled and an exciting new development downtown. Anyone who follows basketball, even at a casual level, understands that Kings fans are renowned for their passionate support of the team. I've coached against the Kings in some important moments over the years and was always amazed by the level of energy they bring to the game. We're going to provide them with more instances to display that enthusiasm.”
Karl joins the Kings as a veteran of 25 seasons on the bench for five NBA franchises (Cleveland, 1984-86), Golden State (1986-88), Seattle (1991-98), Milwaukee (1998-2003) and Denver (2004-2013), where he was named the 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year after guiding the Nuggets to a franchise-record 57 victories and the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference—marking the 22nd postseason appearance in his coaching career. His 21 consecutive NBA campaigns of .500 or better achieved from 1991-92 through 2012-13 is the longest such streak in league annals. He is tied with Lenny Wilkens for eighth all-time with 80 playoff victories and has 12 Coach of the Month nods to his credit—tied for second-most in NBA history. He joined the 1,000 win club on Dec. 10, 2010 in a victory over Toronto, adding his name to a rarified quadruple-digit coaching pantheon that includes Rick Adelman, Don Nelson, Wilkens, Jerry Sloan, Pat Riley, Jackson, Larry Brown and Gregg Popovich.
Before joining the Kings, Karl most recently spent nearly two seasons as an NBA analyst for ESPN across a multitude of network platforms, including SportsCenter, NBA Coast 2 Coast, and NBA Tonight.
A two-time cancer survivor, Karl is active in a number of cancer outreach and awareness organizations, working closely with programs such as the Cancer Care Initiative at Swedish Medical Center to provide information and assistance for patients and their families. Additionally, he and his life partner Kim Van Deraa devote energy to several philanthropic organizations. Established in 2012, the George Karl Foundation supports cancer care programs, educational platforms, animal rights advocacy and environmental initiatives.
Karl, 63, has three children, daughters Kelci and Kaci and a son, Coby. In 2007-08, Coby and George became just the third father/son duo to face each other in an NBA game and the first to do so in a postseason game as Denver took on Coby’s Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2008 NBA Playoffs.