SACRAMENTO – Instead of hiding in a bunker for a few weeks and letting things go wrong, former Sacramento Kings head coach Dave Joerger called Friday night for Grant Napear's show to say goodbye. In a broad interview, Joerger had a lot of positive things to say about his stay in the capital.
"Coaches come and go," Joerger told Napear. "My dream was to bring the Sacramento Kings into the playoffs and I look forward to seeing this group play in the playoffs in the near future, which will make me feel as good as ever."
Joerger dismissed the controversy, refused to throw anyone under the bus and praised Vlade Divac, his former players and Kings fans.
"Vlade and I had a great relationship and we will always have one," Joerger said. "You never know when your paths will cross in this case."
According to Joerger, he heard of his shooting potential early Thursday when he was starting to break. Before that, he was mostly in the dark.
When asked if he regretted his stay in Sacramento, Joerger again chose the great path.
"I do not think, as it's happening, you're going to take stock of some small things that may have come up and could I have done better," Joerger said.
He chose a very specific path this season with his young line-up. Even at the height of the team's losses, Joerger tried to keep a cool head and avoid harm.
"Always look positive, especially with a young team," Joerger said of his approach. "You go out there and be negative and hit them on the head every day, I do not think we would have seen the growth we would have had otherwise."
There is no doubt that the list of young Kings has improved under Joerger and his staff. De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield have had opening seasons and rookies Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles have made significant progress over the seasons.
Joerger's decision to send Bagley off the bench for most of the season was one of the most debated questions about the former coach. He also addressed this situation with Napear.
"I think heaven is the limit with Marvin," Joerger said of the 20-year-old. "He will definitely be an All-Star and I do not know how many years it will take, but I thought it was the best thing for our team and that a guy could go there. and earn the respect of his teammates, nothing was given to him. "
Bagley finished the season well, but he has only started four of 62 games for the Kings. Joerger used veteran Nemanja Bjelica as a starter at the advanced position of power to help space the ground. It is a decision that does not always please Sacramento management and has probably played a role in its removal.
Joerger was the 17th head coach of the Sacramento Kings basketball era. He took over a team of veterans in the first year and saw wounds and trade decimate the alignment. He played in a completely different roster in the second year, including five rookies and 10 rookie players.
In third year, Joerger pushed his young core to the best record in more than a decade in Sacramento, finishing the 39-43 year. His team was in contention for the playoffs until a series of tight defeats cut their veil at the end of the season.
For fans, Joerger praised his experience in Sacramento.
"I've bled purple, that's no question," Joerger told Napear. "It will always be deep for me."
"I see why Rick Adelman gave everything he had and how much he loved it here," added Joerger. "I certainly hoped to try to be so successful in Sacramento, but I am extremely grateful for the relationships I've built."[[[[RELATED: Kings interested in Luke Walton for a vacancy coach]
After nine seasons in Memphis, Joerger came to the Kings with high hopes. He managed to train players and put the team back on track after years of chaos and malfunction.
He will not have the opportunity to see the reconstruction completed, but there is no doubt that he left the Sacramento Kings franchise in a better position than it was three seasons ago when he took the orders.