Team owner says Smart will return to Kings

March 2, 2012, 9:51 pm
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Kings coach Keith Smart will be back in Sacramento next season. Team co-owner Joe Maloof said Thursday that the coach's contract option will be picked up.

Smart, the former Warriors coach, took over in Sacramento after Paul Westphal was fired seven games into the 2011-12 season.

The news was first reported on

When asked byif Smart's contract option would be picked up by the team, Kings co-owner Joe Maloof said "Yes," according to the story, adding "with no disrespect to our past coaches, we really have someone who everybody likes now. The players like him, the basketball staff likes him, we trust him, and he knows the game. Keith Smart is a wonderful coach, and we're lucky to have him. ... Yes, we'll pick it up. We want him to be our coach forever."
The Kings have gone 10-18 under Smart. The team was 2-5 under Westphal when he was fired in December.

The story also reported that Geoff Petrie was secure as team president.