The Sacramento Kings fired coach Michael Malone late Sunday night just 24 games into his second season with the team.
A person with knowledge of the move confirmed the firing Sunday night on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced it yet. A formal announcement was expected Monday.
Malone went 39-67 after being hired in June 2013 by new owner Vivek Ranadive. Malone was hired before general manager Pete D’Alessandro in what was considered an unusual order of events. Now D’Alessandro will get the opportunity to hire his own coach.
Lead assistant Tyrone Corbin will take over as interim coach, the person with knowledge of the moves said. Corbin went 112-146 in three-plus seasons as coach of the Utah Jazz and was not offered a contract after last season.
The Kings went 28-54 in Malone’s first season and missed the playoffs for an eighth straight year. This season got off to a better start with the team winning nine of its first 14 games.
But the Kings lost their next game and have fallen into a tailspin after star center DeMarcus Cousins was sidelined viral meningitis. Sacramento has lost seven of nine games without Cousins and is tied for 10th in the Western Conference with an 11-13 record.
The firing is the first major setback in Ranadive’s tenure. He was welcomed as a savior when he bought the team from the Maloof family in 2013 and prevented the team from moving to Seattle.
The Kings have already broken ground on a $477 million arena that is expected to open downtown for the 2016-17 season. But he has been unable so far to reverse the losing trend that followed a stretch of eight straight playoff berths.