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Keith Smart Named New Head Coach

The Sacramento Kings have relieved Paul Westphal of head coaching duties.

The organization made the announcement Thursday morning.

In the statement, President of Basketball Operations for the Kings Geoff Petrie thanked Westphal for his efforts, “unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect.”

During Westphal’s two years with the Kings, he had a 51-120 record.

In Thursday’s release, Westphal had nice words to say about the staff and team, saying Petrie has “been nothing but honest and supportive throughout my time here.”

Westphal had a recent public brush-up with Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins reportedly demanded to be traded after the team’s recent losing streak. Westphal told Cousins to stay home for Sunday night’s game against the Hornets, however he traveled with the team to Memphis Monday.

When Cousins was told to stay home, Westphal said, "This is only the tip of the iceberg … You can only get so many chances before something needs to be done. And something needs to be done."

After getting word that Westphal had been let go, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson tweeted “Sorry to hear the news abt (sic) Paul Westphal. He coached me for many yrs (sic) I have great respect for him. wish him the best.”

In a separate news release, the Kings announced that Assistant Coach Keith Smart will step in as the team's 24th head coach.

Smart's previous head coaching job was with the Golden State Warriors.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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