The firing came after the eternally-struggling Kings started the season with a 6-11 record.
Although fans knew there could still be troubles ahead even with new interim coach Alvin Gentry, many hoped there would soon be signs of improvement.
Sure enough, the Kings are starting to find their footing in the league and have been impressive lately despite a nasty loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
What is driving this newfound determination and grit for the Kings?
3. They Apologized
When the Kings gave up a double-digit lead to the Lakers earlier this week, Gentry did something rare and surprising: he apologized.
Talking to the media, Gentry spoke directly to the fans, saying: “I guess the very first thing I should do as a coach is apologize to the fans here.”
He continued: “They don’t deserve what they got tonight … as the coach of this team, I want to apologize to every King fan out there, because you do not deserve this; you deserve much, much better and we’ll find guys that will give you better.”
Alvin Gentry’s opening remarks and his apology to Kings fans. pic.twitter.com/lQluQu2Agn
— James Ham (@James_HamNBA) December 1, 2021
That was a major moment for Gentry and the Kings because it was brutally honest and cathartic.
It might not seem like it but the apology created a rock bottom for the team and gives them an incentive to never hit that low again, only moving forward and upward.
The apology was a huge admittance that the team has a long way to go and it showed a sort of realism that could garner support from the fans plus refocus and center the team.
2. Alvin Gentry Is Focusing On Consistency
After the apology, the team started to play better with a greater sense of urgency.
Coach Gentry has been stressing the importance of consistency with the young team and has required that they watch game footage to improve it and stay strong from the first quarter until the end of the fourth.
Since they are young and healthy, consistency is essential for the team moving forward.
The team has proven to be more consistent regardless of who is on the floor, allowing Gentry to change rotation on the fly and still rely on whoever he calls upon.
In their 124-115 win against the Los Angeles Clippers, they attained a large lead early in the game but then ran the risk of giving it up – again.
Yet when the third quarter opened, the team secured six steals and eight forced turnovers on Los Angeles and soon had a 23-point lead.
Because of Gentry’s focus on consistency, the team stuck with it and built upon their lead, securing the victory.
1. The Entire Team Is Stepping Up
The Kings are getting better because they are realizing each game is truly a team effort.
Six Kings players were in double-figures against the Clippers, which just shows how much everyone is trying their hardest and embracing the “next man up” mentality.
— Sportskeeda Basketball (@Basketball_SK) December 2, 2021
Meanwhile, both Tyrese Haliburton and Richaun Holmes got double-doubles.
As the Kings continue to foster and improve their bench and every player on the team, they will only get stronger, more consistent, and cohesive.
They still have a long way to go but the Kings are showing signs that they are finally coming together.