The Kings have lost seven of eight games and are down to 6-11 this season, leaving them 12th in the Western Conference. Several recent losses have come against struggling teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kings associate head coach Alvin Gentry, a five-time NBA head coach, should be a strong candidate for the interim head coach position.
Walton was 68-93 in more than two seasons as the Kings coach.
Kings general manager Monte McNair will now have the chance to hire his own head coach. Walton was hired by Vlade Divac, the former general manager.
The Kings have been one of the worst defensive teams in the league under Walton – ranking 26th in defensive efficiency this season and last in the 2020-21 NBA. This season, Sacramento ranks 26th in defensive rebound percentage, 29th in allowed paint points per game and last in allowed second chance points per game, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
Sacramento has the longest active drought in the NBA playoffs (since 2006). In those 15 years, they’ve had 10 head coaches – Walton’s interim replacement will be the 11th since Rick Adelman led the Kings to their last playoff appearance in the 2005-06 season.