Kings' Divac fires Joerger after 39-win season

Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac has fired coach Dave Joerger after the team's best season since 2005-06, it was announced Thursday.

Despite Joerger engineering an improbable 39-win season, Divac is using the muscle of his new contract extension through the 2022-23 season to consolidate power around him, league sources said.

Sacramento averaged 114.2 points per game this season, which ranked ninth in the league. It was an increase of 15.4 points after the Kings finished last in the NBA at 98.8 points per game during the 2017-18 season.

Tension between management and Joerger regarding playing time for certain young players and relationship strains impacted Divac's decision, sources said. Still, most around the NBA believed the team's rapid improvement under Joerger and significant overperformance based on preseason expectations would have forced the organization to consider a contract extension.

Joerger, who has a 98-148 record without a playoff appearance in his three seasons with the Kings, had one year remaining on his contract. Prior to joining the Kings, he coached the Memphis Grizzlies for three seasons. He has an overall NBA coaching record of 245-247.