Finally, the directors and the direction of the Kings finish up this report card.
The Coaches, Front Office and Ownership
The botom is a good place to start because there is nowhere to look but up. And so it began with the hiring of Coach Westphal on 10 June 2009. With an avuncular presence Paul Westphal has to be given credit for establishing a direction for this young team, adjusting the amount of carrot and stick on an individual basis. His post game spots reflect a wise and patient demeanor. Mentioned in the running for Coach of the Year honors the Kings are a surprise to every fan and every pundit. He juggles playing time and line ups like musical chairs. He has thrust Tyreke Evans to the forefront and kept him there. More than the increased number of wins, 15 half way through the season compared to a total of 17 for all of last year, a 77% increase thus far. These Kings are exciting and fun and bare no resemblence to the group last year. B
The Front Office: Geoff Petrie, Wayne Cooper, Jason Levien. The draft of 2009 will be remembered for Geoff Petrie and staff hitting the cycle with wins for all four draft day acquisitions (Sergio is a single, Brockman a double, Casspi a triple and Tyreke Evans a home run) in this projected weak draft. The pain of last season where a late but unabashed rebuild was started, removing all chaff. The youth movement is the clear strategy. The surprising rise of these young guns with 2 of last year’s starters out has made the difference between the Kings and a team like the Timberwolves. Always playing his cards close to the vest, the degree of commitment and the pace of change make the immediate future uncertain. B
Ownership: The Brothers Maloof have experience financial strife for the first time since coming to Sacramento. Last season the order of business was to minimize expenditures. This season the Maloofs have tightened their belts, rode commercial and made the commitment to gather enough cash to be a part of an NBA backed downtown Arena proposal. They seem to be all in for this hand: if the proposal fails expect the Maloofs, with NBA approval to move away. This money also gives them the freedom to pay relocation fees. Keep your fingers crossed. The effort to keep the Kings is real – a variety of ticket packages are offered in an effort to bring fans back to ARCO. Commendable. B +
MID SEASON GRADE: C+
An enormous improvement from last season (season grade D-) the Kings still sit on the lower rungs of the NBA ladder. Hopes run high, but winning 1/3 of their games leaves much to be desired. 41 down, 41 to go.