The Sacramento Kings fired coach Paul Westphal on Thursday, cutting ties after two-plus seasons amid a slow start and an escalating dispute with young center DeMarcus Cousins.
Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie made the announcement ahead of the team's home game against Milwaukee on Thursday night. Assistant coach Keith Smart, let go by the Golden State Warriors after one season this summer, will serve as head coach versus the Bucks.
Looking to build momentum for a new arena project, Sacramento stumbled at the start again this year. A talented and athletic - albeit raw - roster led by Westphal is 2-5 and in last place in the Pacific Division.
''I want to thank Paul for all of his effort on behalf of the Kings,'' Petrie said. ''Unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.''
In two-plus seasons leading the Kings, ...