Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/5/12
The Sacramento Kings have fired head coach Paul Westphal amid a slow start to the season and ongoing drama with disgruntled center DeMarcus Cousins.

The Kings wasted no time tabbing a replacement, naming Keith Smart to the position.

"I want to thank Paul for all of his effort on behalf of the Kings,” Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect."

Westphal posted a record of 51-120 in two-plus seasons at the helm. His brief tenure in 2011-12 was marred by a 2-5 start and numerous reported confrontations between Westphal and Cousins during practice.

Cousins, who has denied asking for a trade despite reports to the contrary, was told to stay home for a game by Westphal following the second reported request.

Westphal then issued a bizarre statement, explaining his decision and criticizing Cousins' commitment to the team.

Smart joined the Kings' staff this season after spending the previous eight years in the Golden State Warriors organization. He led the club to a 36-46 record in his only season as head coach last year.
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