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New Kings GM Monte McNair sticking with Luke Walton as playoff drought continues

Ryan Young
·Writer
·2-min read

Monte McNair has only been at his post as the new general manager for the Sacramento Kings for about a week, but he’s already impressed with coach Luke Walton.

Though the team is currently stuck in the worst playoff drought in the league, McNair is putting his faith in Walton to get them out.

“I’ve got to know him the last few days, we’ve had some good conversations,” McNair said in his introductory news conference on Wednesday, via the Associated Press. “I’ve heard great things. So far I think we’ve had a great rapport. Luke’s going to be our coach next year. I’m really excited to work with him. I think we’re aligned with our vision and we’re gonna start implementing it.”

McNair hopes to ‘recreate’ success with Rockets in Sacramento

The Kings hired McNair as their new general manager last week, following a 13-year stint with the Houston Rockets in a senior analyst and assistant general manager role.

The move came after the Kings general manager Vlade Divac stepped down and assistant general manager Peja Stojakovic left. Divac had been with the team since 2015.

The Kings haven’t been to the playoffs or mounted a winning record since the 2005-06 season — marking the longest postseason drought in league history.

Walton just wrapped up his first season with Sacramento this year, and recorded a 31-41 record. The Kings job marks his second head coaching job in the NBA, following a three-year stint with the Los Angeles Lakers.

McNair said his goal is to recreate what he helped build in Houston — the Rockets have reached the postseason the past eight seasons — in Sacramento in order to snap that streak.

“I understand the frustrations of all the loyal Kings fans,” McNair said, via the Associated Press. “I’ve already seen and heard about their passion. I think we’re aligned on that goal. I was fortunate enough to spend the last 13 years at an organization where we were able to build those winning habits, that culture, where year in and year out we expected to be in the playoffs and compete for championships.

“My goal is to recreate that here. We’re going to be flexible and just be ready whenever that opportunity arises to really improve the team and get us back into that consistent playoff hunt.”

Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton
The Kings haven’t reached the postseason since 2006, marking the longest drought in NBA history. (AP/Ashley Landis, Pool)

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