Tuesday , Jun , 19 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Reggie Theus Hired To Coach Sacramento Kings

Sacramento has their coach, naming former King Reggie Theus as sideline boss … The ex-NBA star may seem like an unlikely candidate, but HoopsVibe’s Oly Sandor interviewed Theus last summer and believes he could make an excellent coach … Click here for this story and analysis …

ESPN reports that Sacramento has hired Reggie Theus as their new sideline boss:

The Sacramento Kings named Theus their next coach late Tuesday night. ESPN.com first reported the news and Theus confirmed it.

The Kings plans to introduce Theus at a news conference on Wednesday. Theus wouldn’t confirm the figures but ESPN.com has learned that he will get a three-year deal, worth an estimated $6 million.

Theus will replace Eric Musselman, who was fired after the Kings went 33-49 and missed the playoffs in his only season as coach.

"I’m stunned," Theus told ESPN.com. "As of Sunday, I believed I was the darkhorse." Theus said he spoke with Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie early Tuesday evening and was told he had the job.

"I’m an NBA guy coaching in college," Theus said.

My Quick Take: Last summer, New Mexico State hit-up my hometown of Vancouver, Canada. The Aggies were part of a pre-season tournament with some Canadian and American college teams.

I had seen Reggie Theus gliding around the arena. His strut is immediately recognizable. It takes you back to his playing days when Theus defined smooth.

One evening during the tournament, after New Mexico State played, I caught up with him.

I only wanted a short interview. The Americans had just lost to Greece in the FIBA World Championship. I wanted his thoughts on the loss since he played in Europe before it was chic. One quote, maybe two. I was on a deadline.

Theus was doing a post game show for Aggies’ radio. As I waited I listened to his interview. He
was articulate, expressing interesting and insightful opinions. He was soon finished with Aggies’ radio.

Theus introduced himself. I was with one other reporter.

We talked hoops for almost an hour. Theus was bright and engaging. We discussed a wide range of issues including college recruiting, building a successful NCAA program, and the pro game.

Last year was Theus’ second at New Mexico State. The Aggies posted an impressive 25-9 record.

I wasn’t surprised by his team’s success. I wasn’t surprised to hear Indiana and Charlotte were interested in Theus’ services. And I definitely wasn’t surprised to hear Theus was hired by Sacramento.

He’s been a successful player, broadcaster, actor, and college coach. Why wouldn’t he do a good job coaching the Kings?

I noticed one thing when talking to Theus: he’s likable. Don’t get it twisted-I don’t think the former star will be soft on players. But I do think he’ll succeed as a tough-love coach with Sacramento. 

Article updated June 19, 2007.

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