George Karl needs 25 more wins to pass Phil Jackson for fifth on the NBA's all-time wins list
George Karl likely will become the Kings' head coach after the All-Star break, according to reports by ESPN's Marc Stein and Chris Broussard.
That means one of the most accomplished head coaches in NBA history soon will be roaming the sidelines in Sacramento. But can he turn the Kings around?
A coaching legend
Karl ranks sixth on the NBA's wins list with 1,131 career victories. He needs just 25 victories to pass Phil Jackson in fifth place.
Most Coaching Wins - NBA History
Unlike Jackson, who has won 11 NBA championships, Karl has yet to win a title.
He will, however, rank second among active NBA coaches with 80 playoff victories, trailing only Gregg Popovich's 149.
Sacramento will be Karl's sixth head-coaching stop, and he has taken his last three teams to the conference finals (SuperSonics, Bucks and Nuggets). Karl also has one career NBA Finals appearance, with Seattle in 1996.
It's been a while since the Kings had a winning coach
Karl will be the Kings' eighth coach in the last nine seasons, and the previous seven coaches all departed with a losing record and no playoff appearances.
Those previous seven coaches had gone a combined 233-457 entering Tuesday, good for a .338 winning percentage. (Having won 41.5 percent of his games over a season and a half, Reggie Theus owns the best winning percentage among them.)
The Kings haven't made the postseason since the 2005-06 season. That span of eight seasons is second only to the Timberwolves' 10-year playoff drought.
Can Karl take the Kings back to the playoffs?
This will mark the third time in Karl's career that he's taken over as head coach during the season. In the first two instances, he turned his new team around.
Team Win Percentage
George Karl Hired Midseason
Most notably, he took over the 17-25 Nuggets in 2004-05 and led them to a 32-8 record the rest of the way and a playoff berth.
With the Kings having gone 9-28 after opening the season 9-5, such a dramatic turnaround this season could be too much to ask for, considering Sacramento is 9 1/2 games out of a playoff spot following Tuesday's loss in Chicago.
Yet with Karl on the sidelines, he could offer an eventual solution to the Kings' playoff drought. After all, Karl has finished 20 of his last 21 seasons with a playoff appearance.