No man thinks more highly than I do of Mr. Geoff Petrie, as well as the abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen, such as Mr. Levien, who have only just begun in the Sacramento Kings front-office. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character, occasionally, opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for giving heed to Peaches. The question before the Kings is one of awful moment to this fan base. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of industry or idleness; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth of this upcoming draft, and fulfill the great responsibility of returning the franchise to its grandeur. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my character, and of an act of disloyalty toward my Kings fandom, which I revere above many things.
Friends, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, or, selecting fourth overall, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for triumph and ridding ourselves of Kenneth Cornelius Thomas? Are we disposed to be of the numbers of those who, like supposed Laker devotees, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their team’s salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the Kings’ future but by the Kings’ past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the last few months to justify those hopes with which Kings enthusiasts have been pleased to solace themselves. Is it that insidious smile with which our roster has been lately received across the league?
Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss by Ms. Voisin. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of the King’s petition comports with those aggressive preparations in Los Angeles and Cleveland which cover our waters and darken our land. Are mediocre MLE contracts necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that a force like the Tru Warier must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of conflict and subjugation; the last arguments to which true kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Kobe Bryant any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of players such as Gasol and Bynum? No, sir, he has none. They are meant for us, as well as others. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the league’s incompetent executives have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last seven years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Jason Thompson? We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to Diogu and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Have we done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on? We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before Stern, and have implored his interposition to acquire the prospect that will change our fortunes. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned from the proposal of a new arena! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of Greene, winning and prosperity.
There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to win--if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges of reaching the playoffs for which we have been so long from contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, through Shelden and Mikki, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest, a championship, shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms, and perhaps to Dan Fegan, is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary as even Golden State. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next season, or the next century? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when the franchise is relocated? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, Speed Racer, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which by nature as Kings fanatics, hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the cause of victory, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which Donald Sterling can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a frequently just Commissioner who presides over the destinies of teams, and who will hopefully raise up friends, like John Moag, to fight our battles for us. The court, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no head coach. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the waters of the Delta! The draft is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The draft is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash between Rubio and Conley in Memphis! Our brethren are already interviewing Thibodeau! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of 17 victories? Forbid it, Geoff Petrie! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me Rubio or give me death!
Have a great Memorial Day everyone!