Uncertainty is a particularly unique human emotion. Realistically it could be argued uncertainty isn’t an emotion at all, but for the sake of this, imagine if you will. Uncertainty’s uniqueness stems from the fact that it is a rather cohesive collection of other disparate emotions: apprehension, anticipation, fear, hope. It is uncertainty that makes often otherwise mundane activities consistently exciting: public speaking, sex, finance. And it is uncertainty that we were unfairly thrust into last night. What exacerbates this specific uncertainty is our inability to control it. We could not control the Lottery and we can not control the Lottery’s consequent results. These aren’t necessarily bad things, but to a fan base looking for some sort of cathartic outcome to a brutal basketball season in an otherwise brutal year, they sure don’t seem like particularly positive things either. But as the bitter disappointment of last night dissipates a bit let's sift through the wreckage and examine certain certainties.
This is not the end of basketball in Sacramento. Now I’m not saying the end of basketball in Sacramento isn’t a possibility. But it isn’t going to be because of last night. No offense to Blake Griffin, who is without question a unique talent, but missing out on him isn’t exactly missing out on LeBron. And no offense to Kings’ fans, who are some of the more adroit in the NBA, but there wasn’t going to be some sort of onslaught at the Arco Arena Box Office this fall to see some 20 year old kid from Oklahoma. This team and town’s issues are more complicated and deep seeded. It seems like the potential selling of Cal Expo or the collapse of the residential real estate market and consequent adverse effect on our discretionary income may be a bit more damaging. Kevin Durant didn’t exactly save basketball in Seattle. But wait, you’ll say, the Sonics issues weren’t related to attendance. Even with Sacramento’s attendance swooning, neither are ours. And unless Blake Griffin is an expert on urban infill development his presence wasn’t going to change that. If bad draft luck and subsequent attendance apathy expedited team moves the Grizzlies would have been sent to Austin 5 years ago.
We’ve spent, in fairness I’ve spent, the past few years waiting for Petrie to become Petrie again. Since the Artest trade he has largely been unable to be that. Handcuffed by both Maloof meddling and his own questionable contracts. Now the coaching decision is his (and the Thibodeau interview shows reassuring flexibility in his own dogma) and that 4th pick has afforded Petrie the one thing he’s always thrived with, options. To Petrie this draft is now a blank canvas. Rather it is his blank canvas. And given the probable volatility of this draft (discussed quite insightfully and exhaustively in this space in the past two days) Sacramento’s situation is not nearly as Edvar Munch like bleak as it appeared last night. Rubio isn’t a certainty, but he’s not not a certainty either. Which makes his drafting a certain uncertainty.
Lastly we’ll all be here, working ourselves through this. All’s not lost. Of course I spent last night drinking my youngest brother's Natural Light while watching DeMar DeRozan clips on You Tube.
In fairness, though, that's how I spend most of my Tuesday night's, but yesterday it felt particularly poignant.