The Sacramento Kings made a coaching hire yesterday that will spur opinions across the league. Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal has hired Otis Hughley as an assistant coach. Hughley’s hire is surprising because he has spent the last six seasons coaching High School basketball in Alabama. Hughley has also worked previously as an assistant for several mid-major universities such as Liberty, Southern, and Wright State. Hughley’s pedigree may leave some scratching their heads as to why or how he got the job.
The story seems to make a little more sense when you find out that one of his former players is the King’s first-round pick DeMarcus Cousins. While not willing to say that Hughley was hired exclusively for that reason, it surely did not hurt his chances. Cousins must have an affinity for his former and now current coach or else his chances of being hired would have been nonexistent. Hughley’s credentials aside, the move will not quiet those detractors that have claimed that Cousins is immature and overly-emotional. Did the Kings hire an assistant coach or a baby-sitter?
While the Kings front office is saying all the right things, the skepticism will persist. Cousins has been surrounded by this criticism for quite some time and a move like this will not silence it and further shows DeMarcus’ need for help in adjusting to the NBA life.
Whether you want to call it home-cooking or a baby-sitter, Hughley’s work is sure to be closely tied to the rookie center. The Kings are evidently willing to do whatever it takes to ensure Cousins keeps his focus on the court, and how successful Hughley’s tenure is, will likely be tied to whether or not that happens.
Check out the official press release by the Sacramento Kings.