Rick Adelman is the brightest star in the Sacramento Kings galaxy of coaches. He in fact is the only star as he is the lone "winner". As his twinkle faded with the downturn of talent due to age, injury, replacement and cap costs his personality clash between the Maloof ownership escalated and both sides agreed to move on separately.
The consensus was that the image of the Kings was that of a soft team that did not defend and that they should follow the path of the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz. Disciplinarian Eric Musselman was hired.
Coach Muss did not work out for a variety of reasons. Enter Back Up Plan A; Coach Reggie Theus. The Kings had an admirable first season with Coach Theus and he returned for another season. The second time out, the Kings lost often and by large margins. It was decided that Reggie had lost the team mid-season and with the playoffs unreachable, Coach Theus was dismissed. Back Up Plan B was put in play with the salaries of both Musselman and Theus on the books assistant coach Kenny Natt was promoted to interim Head Coach. The Kings, despite the League’s worst record picked 4th in the NBA draft of 2009 and before the draft Back Up Plan C was enacted and Coach Paul Westphal was named to lead Sacramento to greener pastures. An improvement of 8 games was delivered with a strong emphasis on developing this young squad. Coach Westphal had his contract extended and with two big rookies added to the squad a climb in the standings was expected. Now, one month into the current 2009-10 season, many fans are calling for Back Up Plan D – a successor to sit the throne.
Pick your poison for BUP D: Lawrence Van FratEllie, or anyone else you can name (and let’s not even discuss the minimum 3 year deal you would have to guarantee to bring this guy over). Is there a Back Up Plan E? Because when BUP D brings the Kings to…. (82-15 = 67 x .43, say 31-36 or 35 wins as hoped or 82-15 = 67 x .36, say 26 – 41 or 30 wins) will that suffice? What if it is less? Who do you hire while paying BUP C and BUP D? What if BUP D loses the team with his discipline that is so strenuously called for? What happens when next season the Kings have another November like this one?
There is no Back Up Plan D and so there sure as heck isn’t a Back Up Plan E. Fight it all you want: rub some Vaseline across your brow, keep the sponge wet, carry a razor to get cut – just in case, bring over the blood bucket if you need to, but sit on that towel, because even if no one answers the bell this contest is going the full 15 rounds. Westphal ain’t goin’ anywhere.