Sacramento Kings: What to expect from new assistant coach Rex Kalamian

Assistant coach Rex Kalamian (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Assistant coach Rex Kalamian (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Looking further into a new Sacramento Kings’ coaching hire

After hiring former New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry to coach alongside Luke Walton, the Sacramento Kings‘ front office has made another coaching acquisition in Rex Kalamian. The former assistant to Doc Rivers during his tenure with the LA Clippers is no stranger to Sacramento, coaching there between 2007-09.

Throughout his coaching career, Kalamian has been rather successful.

"“He joins from the Los Angeles Clippers (2018-20), where the team amassed a 97-57 (.629) regular season record during his tenure on Doc Rivers’ staff.”"

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He also had successful assistant coaching stints, posting winning records with the Raptors (67% win percentage) and the Thunder (66%).

The key to Kalamian’s success has largely been a result of his defensive style of coaching, something the Kings are in dire need of. During this past season, the Kings allowed a staggering 112 points per contest, far too many for any team with playoff aspirations. Through this acquisition, I think it is very reasonable to presume their defense will only improve from here.

With Gentry taking over on the offensive end, Walton and Kalamian will be able to strengthen the core defense, resulting in improvement across the board.

In an interview with the Clippers media team, Kalamian detailed how his coaching style is perfect for improving teams defensively.

"“The first thing I know I have to bring every day is the energy… As soon as the players sees you bring the energy, then they’ll bring it. That’s kind of, in a nutshell, who I am as a person and as a coach.”"

Energy will not be hard to come by in Sacramento, with speedster guard De’Aaron Fox likely to be the epitome of Kalamians defensive schemes. Alongside Fox, the defensive skills of Richaun Holmes, Harrison Barnes, and hopefully Marvin Bagley will likely be at the forefront, bringing energy and hustle to a team that’s been lackluster on defense for years.

Kalamian, in an interview with the NBA Coaches Association, explained his style of coaching. While he accepts that analytics and film are extremely important for a team, he doesn’t like to rely solely on that one aspect. His skills are accentuated when he is one on one with the players, running the drills and critiquing the actions live, rather than from behind a computer. I think with energy being a major tool in his belt, the younger players will really start to lock in and focus up.

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What this young team has been lacking in the past is exactly what Kalamian is planning to bring to the table and for Kings fans, this must be promising.