SACRAMENTO (AFP) - The Sacramento Kings, languishing near the bottom of the NBA, fired Tyrone Corbin as coach and reached a deal with long-time coach George Karl to guide the club on Thursday.
The Kings, who announced both moves on their website, are fourth in the Pacific Division at 18-34 and trail Phoenix by 10 games for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference as teams enter the NBA All-Star Game break.
Sacramento started the season with Mike Malone as coach but dumped him in December after an 11-13 start and a 39-67 overall record with the club.
Corbin got the sack after going 7-21, but will stay with the Kings as a front office advisor.
"I have the utmost respect for Tyrone as a coach and person," Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro said.
"He is a man of great integrity, a consummate professional that managed a difficult situation with class and professionalism."
Karl, who has been working as an ESPN commentator, reached a deal with the Kings that the Sacramento Bee reported is a four-year deal worth more than US$4 million (S$5.4 million) a year.
Karl, 63, began his coaching career with Cleveland in 1984 and has also guided Golden State, Seattle, Milwaukee and Denver.
In all, Karl has a 1,131-756 NBA coaching record, sixth-most on the all-time win list, but only an 80-105 playoff record.
His only trip to the NBA Finals came with Seattle in 1996, when the SuperSonics lost to Chicago.
Karl last coached in the NBA in 2013 with Denver, the Nuggets going 57-25 to earn Karl the NBA Coach of the Year award.
He went 423-257 with Denver but the Nuggets were ousted in the first round of the playoffs eight times in nine tries, reaching the 2009 Western Conference finals in his best playoff outing with the team.