“I’m coming home to my NBA family,” Williamson said by phone. “It felt like being recruited, and it felt great. I’m very flattered and was caught off guard. I didn’t expect this. I’ve always wanted to get back into the NBA and coach, but I didn’t think it would happen this soon. I’m still in awe with the opportunity. Of all places to coach … .”

Williamson is the next piece in a sweeping change for the Kings, from new principal owner Vivek Ranadive to general manager Pete D’Alessandro to Malone. Williamson joins Brendan Malone, Dee Brown, Chris Jent and Micah Nori as assistants in their first season with the Kings.

Williamson, a forward who steered Arkansas to the 1994 NCAA championship, played 12 NBA seasons. He started and ended his career in Sacramento, playing for three other teams in between. Known as “Big Nasty,” Williamson averaged 10.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 466 games with the Kings, becoming a fan favorite for his gritty play on the court and generosity off it.

Williamson is the only two-time recipient of the Kings’ Oscar Robertson Triple-Duty Award, bestowed to the player who best exemplifies excellence in and out of the arena. Williamson was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2002 with Detroit, where he won an NBA title in 2004. He returned to Sacramento in 2005 and retired in 2007.

Reported by Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee