Sacramento Kings coach George Karl said the team's firing of assistant coach Vance Walberg has left him "disappointed and confused" and that any criticism of the team "should be of me."
Karl, in comments published by The Sacramento Bee on Wednesday night, called Walberg "a guy who has been intellectually influential in my thoughts on basketball, probably in my top 10" after general manager Vlade Divac announced the move.
"He's that good, he's that talented," Karl said. "He's brilliant in a lot of ways. ... There's no question I'm disappointed and confused."
Divac called Walberg's dismissal the best thing for the team moving forward and thanked Walberg for his contributions.
"Obviously (Karl) didn't like it," Divac said, according to The Bee. "But I felt like we had to do something to shake things up."
Walberg was added to the staff Feb. 23, 2015, less than a week after Karl was hired as head coach to replace Tyrone Corbin.
The Kings are in 10th place in the Western Conference with a 22-31 record. They are 4½ games out of a playoff spot.
Karl said he wasn't "a fan of thinking there's a savior out there" but that he would move forward.
"That's my job," Karl said, "not to take my personal feelings I have for Vance in the situation, but to coach this team into a better defensive place, play with more passion and hopefully play better at home."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.