Vivek Ranadive is grateful for the discipline and order that Mike Malone restored in the Kings. But he wants Sacramento's next head coach to be an offensive-minded "jazz director."
Ranadive discussed Malone's firing and the Kings' coaching search in an interview Tuesday with ESPN's James Ham, saying he wants a coach who will help showcase the players' offensive talents.
"Defense is great, but we need defense and offense," the Kings owner said. "We need to go from a rules-based organization, which was important when you had chaos, to a values-based organization -- from kind of a programmatic offense to a read-and-respond, free-flowing offense.
"I like to use a music metaphor. We had a Sousa marching band, which was needed when there was chaos. But now we need to shift to a jazz band, where people can be individually showcased and improvised. What we need is a jazz director. I think that's the kind of leadership moving forward."
Malone was fired Sunday in a move that was more philosophy-based than performance-based, sources told ESPN, since the Kings are a respectable 11-14 in the Western Conference despite a 2-8 slide without ailing star center DeMarcus Cousins, who has been suffering from viral meningitis.
Sources told ESPN on Monday that the Kings are determined to give interim coach Ty Corbin "a shot" for the rest of the season to see if he can manufacture a more up-tempo style to suit the wishes of Ranadive and the Kings' front office.
Malone inherited a Kings franchise that had posted seven consecutive losing seasons prior to his arrival in 2013. One of his biggest successes was the way he got the most out of Cousins, an ultra-talented big man whose emotions often got the best of him.
"Michael Malone is a good man," Ranadive said. "He's an honorable man, and he did great things for this organization. ... We needed a coach [in 2013] that would restore structure, restore discipline, restore a system defense, and I consulted with some of the experts in the business and they said [Malone] was a great choice."
Chris Mullin and George Karl have drawn interest from the Kings since Malone's firing, sources told ESPN.
But sources say Mullin, who has been serving as a top adviser to Ranadive with the Kings since September 2013, has reservations about making such a leap in the middle of the season.
Regardless of who Sacramento's next coach is, Ranadive thinks the Kings are ready for a change.
"The NBA has become like the high-tech business," Ranadive said. "Just because you invented the iPhone doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels because somebody else is building a better iPhone. Just because you win 50 games doesn't mean you can be satisfied with the status quo.
"So we live in a time when good enough isn't, and we need to keep getting better. So while we have a good foundation, we needed to pivot. We needed to go."
ESPN.com's James Ham, Marc Stein and Chris Broussard and The Associated Press contributed to this report.