Kings to keep George Karl as coach after all

Victor Decolongon / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Sacramento Kings have decided to keep head coach George Karl in place, the team announced in a statement.

The Kings scrapped reported leanings to fire Karl after a discussion on Tuesday. "George is our coach and we're collectively working through our issues," general manager Vlade Divac said in the statement.

Divac notified Karl of the decision in a phone call that stressed the need for better defense, according to Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears. Karl was with the team in Philadelphia.

While Karl was never fired by the team, the fact that the discussion leaked publicly to the point of expectation is yet another bruise to the Kings' image.

It's a stunning reversal of course from the previous 72 hours, until one considers the franchise involved. The Kings have peddled out a series of unpredictable antics under the ownership of Vivek Ranadive, including firing head coach Michael Malone after an 11-13 start last year - a stretch where they were without franchise player DeMarcus Cousins, who was dealing with viral meningitis.

Karl's days were believed to be numbered mainly due to his strained relationship with Cousins. A number of issues are believed to have plagued Cousins' relationship with his coach, not including the team's recent 1-8 stretch.

Karl sits in fifth place all-time in NBA coaching wins with 1,156 - just 47 behind Pat Riley.