NBA coaching sources have identified ESPN analyst George Karl as a serious target of the Kings to replace Malone in the long term, thanks in part to his association with Sacramento general manager Pete D'Alessandro from their days working together in Denver.
"I'm humbled," Karl told SiriusXM radio. "If they're interested in me, I'm interested in them."
Yet it remains to be seen how interested Karl is in Sacramento specifically, as well as how long the Kings want to give Corbin as interim coach. NBA coaching sources say Karl, 63, is generally eager to return to the league and has been searching for the right fit to launch his comeback after his ouster by the Denver Nuggets following a 57-win season in 2012-13 that earned him Coach of the Year honors.
Other names mentioned as possible candidates at this early stage include former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson (also an ESPN analyst) and former Clippers and Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro.
Kings Fire Malone
Brian Windhorst discusses why he's surprised the Sacramento Kings fired coach Mike Malone and who the likely long-term replacement will be.
What Mike Malone Didn't Do
The Kings did well under Malone, but David Thorpe points out that if that team's as evidence-driven as they suggest, a faster offense and managing minutes make sense.