Kings Head Coach Keith Smart Extended Through 2013-14 Season

The Sacramento Kings agreed to a contract extension with head coach Keith Smart, it was announced on Monday. Per the Sac Bee: “We had talked about it at length somewhat after the season, after the draft,’ Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said. ‘We just really moved forward on it in the last couple of weeks. It’s something I’m really in favor of. He’s the right coach at the right time for the group of players.’ Smart took over as coach after Paul Westphal was fired Jan. 5 amid a feud with center DeMarcus Cousins and other players openly questioned his direction. Even though Smart won over players and improved the team offensively by starting Isaiah Thomas at point guard and moving Tyreke Evans to the wing, the Kings went 20-39 after he was promoted from assistant coach and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season. Smart has said his focus for this season is to improve one of the NBA’s worst defenses while emphasizing a fast-paced offense that shares the ball. ‘I’m excited to continue this process with the Kings,’ Smart said in a statement. ‘We’re trying to get our franchise moving in the right direction. The goal is to keep moving in that positive direction, and I’m glad that I get that opportunity.’ Petrie said critics who think the team should have waited to give Smart an extension might also have considered him a lame duck coach if he hadn’t received it before the season. […] Smart’s career coaching record is 65-116 (.359), including time as interim coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers (2002-03) and a season with the Golden State Warriors (2010-11). Smart took over the Warriors in the midst of a change in ownership and just before the start of training camp. The Warriors went 36-46 under Smart, a 10-game improvement from the previous season.”